Is bladder cancer fatal? Sometimes. According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 71,000 men and women in the U.S. were estimated to get bladder cancer in 2009, and 14,330 men and women would die from it. Men die more from the disease than women do, and white people die slightly more than African Americans, even though whites tend to develop the disease at a much higher rate. Overall, the bladder cancer fatal rate has changed very little over the past 20 years.