Blood in the urine, or hematuria, can signify cancer in some cases, but not always. Hematuria has many other causes, including urinary tract infections and kidney stones.

A person should contact a doctor if they notice blood in their urine.

This article will discuss if blood in a person’s urine is a sign of cancer and what the other signs of bladder cancer are.

We also look at other potential causes of this symptom.

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Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is a common symptom of bladder cancer. In most cases, blood in the urine is one of the first signs of bladder cancer.

Medical professionals may only be able to detect the blood under a microscope (known as microscopic hematuria), or it may be visible to the naked eye (known as gross hematuria).

Gross hematuria is more likely to have a more serious cause, such as bladder cancer.

Other symptoms of bladder cancer can include pain during urination, a frequent urge to urinate, and lower back pain.

However, other, benign conditions — such as bladder infections — can also cause these symptoms.

Regardless, a person should contact a doctor if they notice any troubling changes in their bladder habits.

Early signs

In addition to hematuria, or blood in the urine, there are several other early signs of bladder cancer that people should be aware of:

  • Changes in urinary habits: Bladder cancer can cause changes in how often someone needs to urinate or how urgently they need to go. People may also experience pain or discomfort when urinating.
  • Pelvic pain: Bladder cancer can cause pain in the pelvic region, especially during or after urination.
  • Fatigue: Cancer may cause fatigue or weakness, an early sign of bladder cancer.
  • Unexplained weight loss: If someone is losing weight without trying, it can be a sign of cancer, including bladder cancer.
Learn more

Learn more about blood in the urine.

There are many different causes of blood in the urine, and not all cases relate to cancer. Common causes of hematuria include:

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs): Infections in the bladder, urethra, or kidneys can cause blood in the urine. UTIs can also cause symptoms such as pain or burning during urination, frequent urination, and fever.
  • Kidney stones: Stones that form in the kidneys or urinary tract can cause pain and bleeding when they pass through the urinary system.
  • Enlarged prostate: Men with an enlarged prostate gland may experience blood in their urine due to pressure on the bladder and urinary tract.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as blood thinners or chemotherapy drugs, can cause blood in the urine as a side effect.
  • Inherited disorders: Some inherited disorders, such as sickle cell anemia or Alport syndrome, may cause blood in the urine.
  • Trauma: Injuries to the urinary tract or bladder can cause hematuria.

It is important to see a healthcare professional who can determine the underlying cause of blood in the urine and decide the appropriate treatment.

Blood in the urine can be a symptom of other types of cancer besides bladder cancer.

Other types of cancer that may cause hematuria include:

  • Kidney cancer: This can cause hematuria, pain in the side or lower back, a mass or lump in the abdomen, and unexplained weight loss.
  • Prostate cancer: This may cause blood in the urine, difficulty urinating, frequent urination, and pain or discomfort in the pelvic area.
  • Ureter or renal pelvis cancer: These are rare types of cancer that can develop in the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. They can cause blood in the urine and pain in the back or side.

It is important to note that hematuria is not always a cancer symptom, and many other conditions can cause blood in the urine.

People should contact a doctor if they experience any symptoms that can relate to bladder cancer, such as blood in the urine, changes in urinary habits, pelvic pain, back pain, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss.

These symptoms may also result from other conditions, but it is important that a healthcare professional evaluates them to determine the underlying cause and plan appropriate treatments.

The diagnostic process for bladder cancer typically involves a physical examination, urine and blood tests, and imaging studies such as an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI scan.

Sometimes, a biopsy may also be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Here are some common questions about bladder cancer and hematuria:

What are the warning signs of bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer can cause a variety of symptoms, but the five warning signs to look out for are:

  • blood in the urine, which occurs in more than 8 in 10 cases
  • painful urination
  • changes in urinary habits
  • pelvic pain
  • back pain, which may be a sign that the cancer has advanced and spread to nearby tissues

What are the symptoms of stage 1 bladder cancer?

Stage 1 bladder cancer is an early stage of the disease, and in many cases, there may be no symptoms at all.

However, some people with stage 1 bladder cancer experience symptoms such as blood in the urine, painful urination, greater urgency and frequency, and pelvic pain.

Blood in the urine, also known as hematuria, can be a sign of bladder cancer in some cases, but it is not always indicative of cancer.

Hematuria has many causes, including urinary tract infections and kidney stones.

When hematuria results from cancer, it is usually because the cancer has grown in the bladder, kidneys, or urethra. However, other conditions can also cause hematuria, such as benign tumors or other medical conditions.