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Small Cell Bladder Cancer Survival Rate

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How Long Will You Live If You Have Bladder Cancer

Bladder Cancer Small Cell Carcinoma

The survival rate depends on the stage of cancer at diagnosis and other health issues.

Overall, 70 to 90 percent of people with localized bladder cancer will live for at least five years or more. The physician calculates this with the help of survival rates. Survival rates indicate the percentage of people who live with a certain type of cancer for a specific time. The physician often uses an overall five-year survival rate. Factors that may affect survival rate include

Table. Five-year survival rates of different stages of bladder cancer

Bladder cancer SEER stages Five-year relative survival rate
In situ alone 96
All SEER stages combined 77

The surveillance, epidemiology, and end results stages are taken from the SEER database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute. SEER database groups cancers into localized, regional, and distant stages.

  • Localized: There is no indication that cancer has spread outside the bladder.
  • Regional: Cancer has invaded the nearby structures or lymph nodes.
  • Distant: Cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as the lungs, liver, or bones.

Thus, bladder cancer, if detected in the early stage is treatable and has higher survival rates. However, if the cancer is detected in the advanced stages, treatment becomes difficult and the survival rate is low.

Primary Small Cell Carcinoma In Urinary Bladder: A Rare Case

Ahmet Çamtosun

1Turgut Özal Medical Center, Department of Urology, Malatya, Turkey

2Turgut Özal Medical Center, Department of Pathology, Malatya, Turkey


Small cell carcinoma of bladder, which does not have a common and accepted treatment protocol, is a rare and highly aggressive tumor. It is mostly pulmonary originated however, it can rarely be seen in extrapulmonary sites. We presented an interesting and uncommon case, in which the transitional cell tumor was found in the transurethral resection specimen, but the small cell carcinoma was detected in the final radical cystectomy material.

1. Introduction

Small cell carcinoma is less than 1% in urinary bladder tumors and is very aggressive and refractory to treatment due to its higher metastatic capability compared to other common bladder tumors . When it is diagnosed, the disease is mostly in the metastatic stage, so the patients generally have a poor prognosis. To improve the cure chance or life expectancy, a multidisciplinary approach including radical cystectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy should be initiated as soon as possible .

2. Case Report

3. Discussion

Small cell carcinoma of bladder was firstly reported in 1981 by Cremer et al. . There were 600 cases reported till now. This is a very aggressive tumor and generally has a poor prognosis. More than 60% of the reported patients were metastatic at diagnosis .

4. Conclusion

Conflict of Interests

Small Cell Lung Cancer Survival Rates

Even with advanced treatment options, the small cell lung cancer survival rate is not as good as it is with other types of lung cancer. SCLC can grow and spread quickly. And according to statistics, the likelihood of living for five years after you’ve been diagnosed with SCLC is between 3% and 27%, depending on how advanced the cancer is when it’s found.

Hearing this and the fact that SCLC is not usually not curable is difficult. But the disease is always treatable, and newer approaches have improved patients’ ability to manage the disease and live longer than before.

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How Is Bladder Cancer Treated

Treatment for bladder cancer depends on

  • The stage of cancer.
  • If cancer has spread beyond the lining of the bladder.
  • The extent of cancer spread.

Treatment options based on tumor grade

  • High-grade bladder cancer: High-grade cancers that are life-threatening and spread quickly need to be treated with chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.
  • Low-grade cancers: Less aggressive cancers have a low chance of becoming high grade and do not require aggressive treatments, such as radiation or bladder removal.

Treatment options may vary depending on the tumor stage.

Small Cell Cancer Survival Rate

Causes Of Bladder Cancer Survival Rate

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Of the over 220,000 people in the US each diagnosed with lung cancer, about 10-15% of them will be diagnosed with the subtype of small cell lung cancer. While all lung cancers are serious, the prognosis for small cell lung cancer is especially dire.

In small cell lung cancer, the cancer cells are small and have the capacity to divide quickly and metastasize, meaning that surgery tends not to be the top option for treatment. Rather, since the cancer cells are so aggressive, chemotherapy tends to be the optimal induction treatment for this patient population.

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Prognosis And Survival For Bladder Cancer

If you have bladder cancer, you may have questions about your prognosis. A prognosis is the doctors best estimate of how cancer will affect someone and how it will respond to treatment. Prognosis and survival depend on many factors. Only a doctor familiar with your medical history, the type and stage and other features of the cancer, the treatments chosen and the response to treatment can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

A prognostic factor is an aspect of the cancer or a characteristic of the person that the doctor will consider when making a prognosis. A predictive factor influences how a cancer will respond to a certain treatment. Prognostic and predictive factors are often discussed together. They both play a part in deciding on a treatment plan and a prognosis.

The following are prognostic and predictive factors for bladder cancer.

Small Cell Lung Cancer

When associated with the lung, it is sometimes called “oat cell carcinoma” due to the flat cell shape and scanty cytoplasm. Caution is required when diagnosing SCLC because small cell mesothelioma an extremely rare subtype of lung cancer can be mistaken for small cell lung cancer.

It is thought to originate from neuroendocrine cells in the bronchus called Feyrter cells .Hence, they express a variety of neuroendocrine markers, and may lead to ectopic production of hormones like ADH and ACTH that may result in paraneoplastic syndromes and Cushing’s syndrome. Approximately half of all individuals diagnosed with Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome will eventually be found to have a small-cell carcinoma of the lung.

Small-cell carcinoma is most often more rapidly and widely metastatic than non-small-cell lung carcinoma . There is usually early involvement of the hilar and mediastinal lymph nodes. The mechanisms of its metastatic progression are not well-understood.

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Demographics And Clinical Features

From March 1999 to January 2014, a total of 38 patients with SCCB were treated at FCCC. Median age was 68 years, 28 out of 38 patients were male. 22 patients were current smokers, 6 patients had previous smoking history. There was one patient of Indian descent, rest of the patients were Caucasian. Staging computerized tomography was done in all cases. 22 patients had stage 2 disease at the time of diagnosis. 7 patients had stage 4 disease. 36.8% of the patients had mixed small cell and urothelial cell carcinoma based on the pathology report. Most common presenting symptom was hematuria, most common sites of metastases were liver, bone and lung. Rest of the patient and disease characteristics are summarized in .

What Is Stage 4 Bladder Cancer

FDA Approvals in Bladder Cancer and NSCLC, and 2019 ELCC Highlights

Being diagnosed with bladder cancer can be overwhelming, especially if its stage 4.

Stage 4 bladder cancer is the most advanced stage and carries the worst prognosis. Many cancer treatments will be both difficult and challenging.

However, treatment can reduce or even eliminate your symptoms and help you live a longer, more comfortable life.

Its important to consider the pros and cons of treating stage 4 bladder cancer because treatments come with side effects and risks.

Symptoms of bladder cancer can include:

  • blood or blood clots in your urine
  • pain or burning during urination
  • frequent urination
  • needing to urinate at night
  • needing to urinate but not being able to
  • lower back pain on one side of the body

These symptoms commonly lead to a diagnosis, but they arent unique to stage 4 bladder cancer.

Stage 4 bladder cancer is also called metastatic bladder cancer. This means the cancer has spread outside of the bladder into other parts of the body.

People with metastatic cancer may experience symptoms relating to where the cancer has spread. For example, if a persons bladder cancer has spread to their lungs, they may experience chest pain or increased coughing.

Metastatic bladder cancer is difficult to cure because it has already traveled to other parts of the body. The later youre diagnosed and the farther the cancer has traveled, the less chance that your cancer will be cured.

The 5-year survival rate is the rate of surviving for 5 years after a cancer diagnosis.

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Moffitt Cancer Centers Approach To Squamous Cell Carcinoma

At Moffitt Cancer Center, our multispecialty team of cancer experts takes a highly individualized approach to squamous cell carcinoma treatment. We offer the latest diagnostic and treatment options, and we work closely with each patient to offer customized guidance and help ensure the best possible outcome. For instance, there are many steps a patient can take to improve his or her own squamous cell carcinoma prognosisregardless of the general survival ratesuch as:

  • Performing self-examinations from head to toe, including parts of the body that are not regularly exposed to UV rays, at least monthly, and promptly reporting any suspicious or unusual changes in skin texture or appearance to a physician
  • Seeing a physician for a professional skin cancer examination yearly
  • Avoiding exposure to the suns ultraviolet rays while outdoors, preventive measures include seeking shade, wearing sunglasses and a brimmed hat, covering up with clothing and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection
  • Never using indoor tanning beds

What Should You Do After Receiving A Squamous Cell Carcinoma Diagnosis

After being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, its important to act quickly, since treating this malignancy early can increase the chances of survival. One of the first things you should do is choose a cancer specialistsuch as the ones at Moffitt Cancer Centerwho can stage the cancer, tell you more about your condition and the treatment options available to you and answer any questions you might have.

Squamous cell carcinoma can be treated using a variety of different methods, and a cancer expert can recommend the one thats best suited to your specific needs . Some potential treatment options include:

  • Mohs surgery, which involves removing and examining thin layers of tissue until no more cancerous cells are found. Mohs surgery is offered in conjunction with the USF Department of Dermatology
  • Excisional surgery, which involves removing a cancerous lesion and a portion of the surrounding healthy tissue, then examining it to confirm that the cancerous cells have all been removed
  • Electrosurgery, which involves scraping away a lesion using a curette and then heating the area with an electrocautery needle in order to destroy any remaining cancerous cells and control bleeding

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Small Cell Cancer Survival Rates By Stage

The survival rates for small cell lung cancerexpressed in terms of 5 year relative survival, meaning the percentage of people expected to be alive five years after initial diagnosisare collected by the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results .

  • — Stage I: 31%
  • — Stage III 9%
  • — Stage IV: 2%

These 5 year relative survival rates reflect the extremely poor prognosis in patients with small cell lung cancer, but they do indicate that the earlier the disease is found, the better the chances of survival.

Also one must keep in mind that each patient is different and will be evaluated differently .

Survival For All Stages Of Bladder Cancer


Generally, for people diagnosed with bladder cancer in England:

  • around 75 out of every 100 survive their cancer for 1 year or more after diagnosis
  • almost 55 out of every 100 survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed
  • around 45 out of every 100 survive their cancer for 10 years or more after diagnosis

Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019Office for National Statistics

These statistics are for net survival. Net survival estimates the number of people who survive their cancer rather than calculating the number of people diagnosed with cancer who are still alive. In other words, it is the survival of cancer patients after taking into account that some people would have died from other causes if they had not had cancer.

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Bladder Cancer Stages And Survival Rates

Cancer survival rates are also categorized according to the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. The stage of cancer generally refers to how far it has progressed, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. For bladder cancer, the 5-year survival rate for people with:2,3

  • Bladder cancer in situ is around 96 percent
  • Localized bladder cancer is around 70 percent
  • Bladder cancer that has spread to the regional lymph nodes is 35 percent
  • Distant or metastasized bladder cancer is 5 percent

If you would like to learn more about bladder cancer statistics, consider speaking with someone on your health care team. They will be able to explain more about how these statistics apply to your cancer. Tell us about your experience in the comments below, or with the community.

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Survival Rates For Bladder Cancer

Survival rates can give you an idea of what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time after they were diagnosed. They cant tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding of how likely it is that your treatment will be successful.

Keep in mind that survival rates are estimates and are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had a specific cancer, but they cant predict what will happen in any particular persons case. These statistics can be confusing and may lead you to have more questions. Talk with your doctor about how these numbers may apply to you, as he or she is familiar with your situation.

Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act

Dr. Siefker-Radtke on Advancements in Small Cell Urothelial Cancer

In 2013, the US Congress passed the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, which mandated increased attention to certain recalcitrant cancers, including small cell lung cancer. That led to the National Cancer Institute supporting small cellspecific research through a consortium.

As a result, new experimental drugs for small cell lung cancer are currently being tested, including Iadademstat and Keytruda .

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Does Squamous Cell Carcinoma Spread Quickly

One of the factors that can affect a patients prognosis is whether the malignancy has metastasized . Once squamous cell carcinoma has spread beyond the skin, the five-year survival rate drops to less than 50 percent. Fortunately, its fairly rare for squamous cell carcinoma to metastasize. Plus, when metastasis does occur, the malignancy generally spreads slowly, with the majority of cases being diagnosed before the cancer has spread past the skins upper layer .

When staging squamous cell carcinoma, physicians will take a number of factors into account, one being the degree to which the cancer has already spread throughout the body. For example:

  • At Stage 0, squamous cell carcinoma has not spread beyond the epidermis.
  • At Stage 1, squamous cell carcinoma has spread deeper into the patients skin but has not entered any lymph nodes or healthy tissues.
  • At Stage 2, squamous cell carcinoma still has not metastasized to any lymph nodes or healthy tissues, but displays at least one high-risk feature, which might include spreading into the skins lower layers or the nerves.
  • At Stage 3, squamous cell carcinoma has spread into the patients lymph nodes but has not reached any other organs or tissues.
  • At Stage 4, which is the most advanced stage, squamous cell carcinoma has spread to at least one distant organ .

Understanding The Statistics: Cancer Survival

It is important to remember that all cancer survival numbers are based on averages across huge numbers of people. These numbers cannot predict what will happen in your individual case.

Survival rates will not tell you how long you will live after you have been diagnosed with bladder cancer. But, these numbers can give you an idea of how likely your treatment will be successful. Also, survival rates take into account your age at diagnosis but not whether you have other health conditions too.

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Low Grade And High Grade Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer starts in the lining of the bladder in about 90 percent of people diagnosed with this cancer. Bladder cancer is called low grade or high grade.

  • Low-grade bladder cancer means the cancer has not invaded the muscles around the bladder . People rarely die from this type of bladder cancer, it often recurs after treatment.
  • High-grade bladder cancer also often recurs and has a higher chance of spreading to other parts of the body. Almost all deaths from bladder cancer result this type so it is treated more aggressively.

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