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Bladder Cancer (cont.)

Is It Possible to Prevent Bladder Cancer?

No sure way exists to prevent bladder cancer. You can reduce your risk factors, however.

  • If you smoke, quit. However, the risk of bladder cancer does not diminish.
  • Avoid unsafe exposures to chemicals in the workplace. If your work involves chemicals, make sure you are protected.

Drinking plenty of fluids may dilute any cancer-causing substances in the bladder and may help flush them out before they can cause damage.

What Is the Prognosis of Bladder Cancer? How Common Is Bladder Cancer Recurrence?

The outlook for people with bladder cancer varies dramatically depending on the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis.

  • Nearly 90% of people treated for superficial bladder cancer (Ta, T1, CIS) survive for at least five years after treatment.
  • The average survival time for patients with metastatic bladder cancer spread to other organs is 12 to 18 months. Some live longer than that, and some less time than that. Historically it has been noted that most patients that respond to treatment live longer than those who do not.
  • Recurrent cancer indicates a more aggressive type and a poor outlook for long-term survival for patients with advanced stage bladder cancer. Recurrent low-grade superficial bladder cancer is rarely life threatening unless it is neglected such as if a patient does not bring recurrent symptoms or problems to the doctor's attention and it becomes invasive bladder cancer.

Medically reviewed by Jay B. Zatzkin, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Medical Oncology


"What You Need to Know About Bladder Cancer." National Cancer Institute. Aug 30, 2010.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/23/2016
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