Urinary urgency, painful urination, and blood in the urine are all possible bladder cancer symptoms. However, they can also indicate less serious conditions.
People may experience hematuria in the early stages, when the tumor is small and only in the bladder. There may be little to no pain or other symptoms.
This article explores the main symptoms of bladder cancer, what they can mean, and more.
Hematuria can be an early sign of bladder cancer.
- slightly rusty
- dark red
- bright red
A person may experience hematuria that goes away after a couple of days. However, if a person has bladder cancer, the blood will appear again at some point, sometimes weeks or months later.
Learn more about hematuria.
This means they have to urinate more often, and they often have a sudden, urgent urge to urinate, even if their bladder is not full.
A person may notice that they have to get out of bed several times in the night to urinate.
Similar to hematuria, these symptoms can have less serious causes, such as UTIs, kidney or bladder stones, or an overactive bladder. It is important to contact a doctor if any of these symptoms occur.
They may also feel the need to strain or have difficulty trying to urinate.
This can have other causes, such as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or UTI. It is important to contact a doctor about this symptom, especially if a person is experiencing other symptoms of bladder cancer.
Bladder cancer symptoms can change as the disease progresses. It may move from the lining of the bladder to the muscle wall, lymph nodes, or adjacent organs.
Advanced bladder cancer can present with the same symptoms as early bladder cancer. However, symptoms may also
- an inability to urinate, which can be a medical emergency
- weight loss
- appetite loss
- bone pain
- lower back pain
- swelling in the feet
- abdominal mass
Small amounts of blood are a common early sign of bladder cancer. A large amount of blood in the urine
Finding cancer early
It is important to contact a doctor as soon as possible after experiencing any of the above symptoms.
Although all of these symptoms are likely to have less serious causes, receiving a checkup can rule out or detect bladder cancer.
Here are some frequently asked questions about bladder cancer and their answers.
What is often the first symptom of bladder cancer?
When the tumor is small and only present in the bladder, a person may see blood in their urine.
There may be little or no pain. Other symptoms may not occur in the early stages either.
Small amounts of blood are a
Can a person have bladder cancer for years and not know it?
It is possible to have bladder cancer for years and not know.
The symptoms of early bladder cancer can mimic those of other common conditions, such as bladder infections. Because of this, it is important to contact a doctor about any urinary symptoms.
And tests that can help with detection can produce abnormal results even in people without the condition.
What is the outlook for people with bladder cancer?
If a doctor detects bladder cancer early, curing the condition is more likely.
This is because the outlook is better for people with bladder cancer in the early stages. Doctors
For example, bladder cancer confined to the lining of the bladder (also called “in-situ”) has a 5-year relative survival rate of
This means that people with this stage of bladder cancer are 96% as likely to survive for 5 years after diagnosis as people in the overall population.
The 5-year relative survival rates for other bladder cancer stages are as follows:
- cancer localized to the bladder: 70%
- bladder cancer that has spread to adjacent tissues: 38%
- bladder cancer that has spread to distant sites in the body: 6%
Blood in the urine can be an early sign of bladder cancer. Changes in a person’s urination habits can also indicate the disease.
As the disease progresses, bladder cancer symptoms can become more intense, and new symptoms may develop. Sometimes, bladder cancer makes urinating impossible, which can be a medical emergency.
The outlook for bladder cancer in the early stages is better than with advanced stages. Because of this, a person should contact their doctor about any urinary symptoms they experience.