Epidemiology, Screening, and Prevention of Bladder Cancer

Niyati Lobo, Luca Afferi, Marco Moschini, Hugh Mostafid, Sima Porten, Sarah P. Psutka, Shilpa Gupta, Angela B. Smith, Stephen B. Williams, Yair Lotan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


CONTEXT: Bladder cancer (BC) represents a significant health problem due to the potential morbidity and mortality associated with disease burden, which has remained largely unaltered over time. OBJECTIVE: To provide an expert collaborative review and describe the incidence, prevalence, and mortality of BC and to evaluate current evidence for BC screening and prevention. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Data on the estimated incidence and mortality of BC for 2020 in 185 countries were derived from the International Agency for Research on Cancer GLOBOCAN database. A review of English-language articles published over the past 5 yr was conducted using PubMed/MEDLINE to identify risk factors in addition to contemporary evidence on BC screening and prevention. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: BC is the tenth most common cancer worldwide, with 573 278 cases in 2020. BC incidence is approximately fourfold higher in men than women. Tobacco smoking remains the principal risk factor, accounting for approximately 50% of cases. There is insufficient evidence to recommend routine BC screening. However, targeted screening of high-risk individuals (defined according to smoking history or occupational exposure) may reduce BC mortality and should be the focus of prospective randomized trials. In terms of disease prevention, smoking cessation represents the most important intervention, followed by a reduction in exposure to occupational and environmental carcinogens. CONCLUSIONS: BC confers a significant disease burden. An understanding of BC epidemiology and risk factors provides an optimal foundation for disease prevention and the care of affected patients. PATIENT SUMMARY: Bladder cancer is the tenth most common cancer worldwide and is approximately four times more common among men than among women. The main risk factors are tobacco smoking, followed by exposure to carcinogens in the workplace or the environment. Routine screening is not currently recommended, but may be beneficial in individuals at high risk, such as heavy smokers. Primary prevention is extremely important, and smoking cessation represents the most important action for reducing bladder cancer cases and deaths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-639
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Urology Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


  • Bladder cancer
  • Epidemiology
  • Prevention
  • Risk factors
  • Screening
  • Urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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