Most people with bladder cancer experience visible blood in the urine. The bleeding is typically not associated with other complains such as pain. The bleeding typically goes away for a period of time and then returns. The lack of pain or other symptoms associated with the bleeding causes many to disregard the episode which leads to a delay in seeking medical care. If blood clots begin to form, they may make it difficult to urinate. Other times the bleeding may be microscopic only, detected only on a urine test performed by a lab. Microscopic blood not related to a documented infection, trauma or other obvious cause should always undergo an evaluation to determine the cause. Others symptoms that may be related to bladder include an unusual urge to urinate, increased frequency of voiding or pain with urinating.
Much more rare at presentation are symptoms of advanced bladder cancer. These include trouble urinating from tumor blocking the outflow of the bladder, pain in the flanks from blocked kidneys, or bone pain related to disease that has spread to a bone.
If you have one or more of these symptoms, it does not mean that you have bladder cancer. However, it is important to see a doctor so that if you do have an illness it can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, the team at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and other health care physicians are ready to help. MSKCC offers patients precise diagnostics, innovative treatments, and comprehensive support services – as well as access to new techniques and drugs, and clinical trials of the most-advanced treatment approaches. To learn more please visit http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/adult/bladder.