Bladder Cancer Demographics
Bladder Cancer Demographics
Bela Denes (Urologist) gives expert video advice on: Is bladder cancer more common in some races than others? and more...
What's the average age of persons diagnosed with bladder cancer?
The average age of diagnosis in the US is in the late 60's. It is reported to be around 67 or 68 for men, and perhaps two years on the average later in women. Thus, it's around 70 in women, in this country.
About how many people are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year?
In the United States, we expect that there will be between 60,000 and 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed in the coming year. Worldwide, this number is expected to be in the 350,000 to 450,000 range.
Are men more likely to develop bladder cancer than women?
Yes, they are. Current statistics show that the incidence of bladder cancer, compared to women, is three to four times greater. It is not clear why that is. It had been assumed for many years that this was due to the increased use of cigarettes and tobacco products by men, and the increased use of males in the workforce, especially in those industries where these toxic dyes were used. For example, in the the rubber industry, the animal and dye industry, or leather processing plants. However, newer examination of the epidemiology and the risk factors strongly suggest that there is some independent risk that puts men at greater risk, other than for these environmental factors. One of the things that has been looked at recently is the role of testosterone, and it appears that men with bladder cancer tend to have low-testosterone levels, so it raises the role of testosterone in bladder function or bladder health. Also, bladder cancer occurs in much the same age, in men, where prostate problems develop. As the prostate enlarges, men are not able to empty their bladder efficiently. Therefore, they store urine. They are at higher risk for infections and they're at higher risk for developing bladder stones and bladder irritation. The bladder itself dynamically changes, because it has to work harder to push against the prostate. It's been thought that some of the secondary changes in the bladder, due to the enlargement of the prostate, may also put men at risk.
Why are women with bladder cancer diagnosed later than men?
The limited data that we have seems to suggest that there is a delay in the diagnosis of bladder cancer in women. Whether part of that is due to be blamed on the patient themselves, or whether it is to the primary care physicians, it is not clear. It appears that women who present or complain of blood in the urine, or even some associated pressure with urination, or discomfort associated with urination, are assumed, generally, to have a bladder infection. With bladder cancer, the bleeding does not necessarily have to be persistent, so it can bleed one day and then disappear and not bleed again for a week, a month, or six months. When the bleeding has disappeared, the women assume, and the treating physician or the nurse practitioner assumes that the infection has cleared, until they bleed again, and theyre again given a course of antibiotics and its not uncommon to see women who are finally referred to a urologist for an examination who have had several courses of antibiotics where the delay in diagnosis has been not weeks, but months to a year. Consequently, it appears that there is little bit of a later stage presentation to women with bladder cancer. This is also reflected in the mortality data for women. Women tend to have a slightly higher mortality compared to their male cohorts from bladder cancer, and thats women as a group. Now if you look at stage for stage, grade for grade, the behavior of the tumor seems to be the same. Its just that I think that the data is skewed by the fact that women tend to get diagnosed-that theres a delay in diagnosis.
Is bladder cancer more common in some races than others?
There appears to be a racial bias in bladder cancer. Caucasian males are at higher risk, followed by African-American males, followed by Hispanics, and then Asians. This is demographic data from the U.S, but it is also mirrored in other populations as well. The causes for this are not clear, and this type of a racial bias is true for both genders, for both male and female.