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Bladder cancer

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Symptoms of bladder cancer

Bladder cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. Symptoms appear once the tumour grows larger or into the deeper layers of the bladder wall. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as bladder cancer. See your doctor if you have these symptoms.

The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine (called hematuria). Bloody urine may vary from pale yellow-red to bright or rusty red. Blood may always be in the urine, or it may come and go. Sometimes the blood can only be seen with a microscope or found with other urine tests.

Other symptoms of bladder cancer include:

  • the need to urinate often (called urinary frequency)
  • an intense need to urinate (called urinary urgency)
  • trouble urinating
  • a burning sensation or pain during urination

Late signs and symptoms develop as the cancer grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body, including other organs. Late symptoms of bladder cancer include:

  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • anemia
  • fever
  • change in bowel habits
  • pain in the rectum, anus, pelvis, flank (the side of the body) above the pubic bone or in bones
  • a lump in the pelvis
  • swelling in the legs, scrotum (the pouch of skin below the penis that contains the testicles) or vulva (the outer female sex organs)


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