Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No
Skip to main content

5 Signs of Bladder Cancer

Have you noticed worrisome urinary tract symptoms, like blood in your urine or an urge to urinate more frequently? Do you worry that they’re signs of bladder cancer

The good news is that most of the time, symptoms like these can be explained by another medical condition, like a urinary tract infection.  

At Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, Philip Weintraub, MD, and our compassionate care team offer effective treatment for men and women diagnosed with bladder cancer. 

To make sure you get the care you need fast, our experienced providers put together this helpful guide outlining the five signs of bladder cancer. Take a moment to read about bladder cancer and the signs that indicate it’s time to schedule an evaluation with an expert.  

About bladder cancer

Bladder cancer begins when the cells that line the inside of your bladder mutate. These abnormal cells take over and begin to destroy your normal bladder tissue. Over time, the cancerous cells can metastasize or spread to other areas of your body. 

Scientists are still working to better understand the cause of bladder cancer. They’ve discovered that certain risk factors increase your chances of developing this disease. For example, smokers are about three times more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer than other adults. 

Other risk factors for bladder cancer include:

Signs of bladder cancer

When you first develop bladder cancer, you may not have any noticeable signs of the disease. But as it progresses, certain symptoms may appear. When caught early, bladder cancer is highly treatable, so understanding these signs is important for the best prognosis. 

Here’s a closer look at several of the earliest signs of bladder cancer: 

Blood in your urine

Most of the time, blood in your urine isn’t the result of bladder cancer. It's more commonly a sign of a UTI, kidney or bladder stones, and other infections or non-cancerous urinary system conditions. 

Yet about 80-90% of patients diagnosed with bladder cancer report hematuria, or blood in the urine. Blood in the urine doesn’t always appear as bright red. Depending on how much blood is present, you may notice pink, brown, orange, or dark red urine. 

If you see blood in your urine, schedule an appointment with us at Urological Associates Medical Group to determine the underlying cause. 

Frequent urge to urinate 

Nearly a third of patients diagnosed with bladder cancer experience changes related to urination called irritative bladder symptoms, though the urge to urinate frequently usually points to a UTI and not bladder cancer.  

Even though frequent urination is not likely caused by cancer, you should still meet with an expert. We first rule out more common reasons, such as increased water or caffeine consumption, infection, or an enlarged prostate.   

Difficulty urinating

Many patients who are diagnosed with bladder cancer report difficulty urinating. This could include trouble starting to urinate, a weak urine stream, or an urgent need to urinate even when your bladder is empty. 

But as with other signs of bladder cancer, difficulty urinating is more often related to a non-cancerous condition, especially for men over 50, who may struggle to urinate because of benign prostate hyperplasia

Regardless of the cause, difficulty urinating requires medical treatment. If you’re having trouble urinating, schedule a visit with us at Urological Associates Medical Group.  

Nighttime urination

Waking up at night to relieve your bladder is another early sign of bladder cancer, though most of the time there’s another explanation. Even so, because treating bladder cancer early leads to better treatment and a more favorable prognosis, discuss this symptom with us.

Pelvic or low back pain

Sometimes bladder cancer doesn’t cause symptoms until it grows and begins to bother other parts of your body. For example, one sign of growing or spreading bladder cancer is pain in your pelvic region or pain that radiates to your lower back, especially on only one side. 

If you have any of the early signs of bladder cancer, don’t delay. Schedule an appointment with our medical team. Our urologists have experience diagnosing and treating bladder cancer and other conditions related to the bladder and urinary system.  

Do you have any of these signs of bladder cancer? Contact us at Urological Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California. Our practice also offers telehealth appointments for your convenience.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Is Considered an Overactive Bladder?

What Is Considered an Overactive Bladder?

Are urgent trips to the bathroom leaving you wondering what’s going on? You could have an overactive bladder, which causes a strong, urgent need to use the toilet. How can you tell if you have this common condition? Keep reading to find out. 
How Soon Can I Have Sex After a Vasectomy?

How Soon Can I Have Sex After a Vasectomy?

As you prepare for a vasectomy, you may wonder about your recovery period and how it may affect the intimate parts of your life. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about having sex after a vasectomy.
Can Prostate Cancer Mimic UTI Symptoms?

Can Prostate Cancer Mimic UTI Symptoms?

Did you know that certain symptoms of prostate cancer can resemble those of a UTI in men? Navigating these overlapping signs can be tricky. Keep reading as we decode the similarities and discuss what to do if you’re experiencing symptoms.
How Often Should You Get a PSA Test?

How Often Should You Get a PSA Test?

A PSA test is a simple blood test that screens for prostate conditions. It can even detect the earliest signs of cancer. But how often should you be getting this simple screening? Here’s what you need to know about PSA tests.
Surprising Prostate Facts Many Men Don’t Know About

Surprising Prostate Facts Many Men Don’t Know About

If you’re worried about your prostate gland as you age, you’re not alone. Most men experience an enlarged prostate as they get older. Here’s a look at five facts about enlarged prostates that every man should know.
Help for an Overactive Bladder

Help for an Overactive Bladder

If you find yourself making urgent trips to the bathroom, it may be due to an overactive bladder. This problem is so common that it affects 33 million American adults. If you think you may be one of them, here’s what you need to know.