Bladder cancer symptoms
Sometimes bladder cancer doesn’t have many symptoms and is found when a urine test is done for another reason. However, most people with bladder cancer do have some symptoms.
These symptoms can include:
- Blood in the urine (haematuria) – this is the most common symptom of bladder cancer. It often happens suddenly, but is usually not painful. There may be only a small amount of blood in the urine and it may look red or brown. The blood may come and go, or it may appear only once or twice.
- Changes in bladder habits – changes may include a burning feeling when passing urine (weeing or peeing), needing to pass urine more often or urgently, not being able to urinate when you feel the urge, and pain while urinating.
- Other symptoms – less commonly, people have pain in one side of their lower abdomen (belly) or back.
Not everyone with these symptoms has bladder cancer, but if you have any of these symptoms or are concerned, see your doctor as soon as possible.
Never ignore blood in your urine. If you notice any blood in your urine, see your doctor and arrange to see a specialist to have your bladder examined with a camera (cystoscopy).
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Prof Dickon Hayne, Professor of Urology, UWA Medical School, The University of Western Australia, Chair of the Bladder, Urothelial and Penile Cancer Subcommittee, ANZUP Cancer Trials Group, and Head of Urology, South Metropolitan Health Service, WA; A/Prof Tom Shakespeare, Director, Radiation Oncology, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Lismore Public Hospitals, NSW; Helen Anderson, Genitourinary Cancer Nurse Navigator (CNS), Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; BEAT Bladder Cancer Australia; Mark Jenkin, Consumer; Dr Ganessan Kichenadasse, Lead, SA Cancer Clinical Network, Commission of Excellence and Innovation in Health, and Medical Oncologist, Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, SA; A/Prof James Lynam, Medical Oncology Staff Specialist, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Jack McDonald, Consumer; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Tara Redemski, Senior Physiotherapist – Cancer and Blood Disorders, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Prof Shomik Sengupta, Consultant Urologist, Eastern Health and Professor of Surgery, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, VIC
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