For most people, the first symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, also called hematuria. Sometimes the blood is visible, prompting the patient to visit a doctor. Other times, blood is microscopic and is only discovered during either a routine lab test or one that was ordered after the patient reported other urinary symptoms.
The following irritative urination symptoms are also associated with bladder cancer, though it’s important to know that these also can be present in a variety of benign urologic conditions, like a urinary tract infection or benign prostatic hyperplasia:
- Frequent urination
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder
- Passage of tissue fragments in urine (less frequent than other symptoms)
The presence of one or all of these signs does not mean you have cancer, but you should be seen by a physician, as these are abnormal bodily functions. Sometimes those diagnosed with bladder cancer do not experience any bleeding or pain. That’s why routine screening and physicals are very important.