Patients & Visitors

Urology

D11

Symptoms of bladder cancer

The majority of bladder cancers are found because the patient experiences blood in the urine (haematuria).  The bleeding generally happens suddenly and may come and go, but it’s usually not painful. Blood may make the urine look red or brown, or patients may be able to see streaks or clots of blood in the urine. Sometimes blood in the urine can’t be seen and is picked up by a urine test.

If you have bladder symptoms, your doctor will usually check your urine for microscopic amounts of blood by using a dipstick test. It’s important that people over 50 years who have dipstick discovered haematuria (non-visible haematuria) are investigated for cancer. If you see blood in your urine at any age, you should always go to your GP and get it checked out.

Some people have a burning feeling when they pass urine or feel the need to pass urine more often or urgently. These are symptoms of bladder irritation. They’re more often caused by infection rather than cancer. However, sometimes more tests may be needed.

Some patients experience pain in the lower part of the abdomen or back.

Most people with these symptoms won’t have bladder cancer. Other, more common, conditions such as an infection or stones in the bladder or kidneys are often the cause. But if you develop any of these symptoms it’s important to get them checked by your GP.