Bladder cancer

What are the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer?


Several urinary symptoms can be attributed to bladder cancer. Therefore, bladder cancer is often detected at an early stage.

Blood in the Urine

Usually, the first warning sign of bladder cancer is blood in the urine (hematuria). If the bleeding is strong enough it can change the colour of the urine, from orange over pink to red, depending on the amount of blood. If there are only traces of blood, they need to be detected at a urine testing, done as part of medical checkups.

The blood might only be present sometimes, but in case of bladder cancer it eventually reappears. Early stages of bladder cancer often cause bleeding as only symptom.

Blood in the urine does not necessarily indicate bladder cancer. More often it is caused by other things like infection or kidney stones. Nevertheless, medical examination is important to rule out bladder cancer.

Changes in Bladder Habits or Symptoms of Irritation

Changes in urination might be caused by bladder cancer, such as:

  • Increase in urination frequency
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Urge to urinate, even when the bladder is not full

As for bleeding, these signs are more likely to be caused by a benign condition, like infection or overactive bladder. A medical diagnosis is still necessary for a proper treatment.

Symptoms of Advanced Bladder Cancer

In advanced stages, bladder cancers can grow large enough to spread to other body parts, causing symptoms, such as:

  • Being unable to urinate
  • Lower back pain on one side
  • Appetite and weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Swelling in the feet