The most common symptoms of bladder cancer include the following:

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Pain or burning during urination without evidence of urinary tract infection.
  • Change in bladder habits, such as having to urinate more often or feeling the strong urge to urinate without producing much urine

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These symptoms are nonspecific. This means that these symptoms are also linked with many other conditions that have nothing to do with cancer.

  • Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have bladder cancer.
  • If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your health-care provider right away. People who can see blood in their urine, especially older males who smoke, are considered to have a high likelihood of bladder cancer until proven otherwise. Blood in the urine is usually the first warning sign of bladder cancer.
  • Unfortunately, the blood is often invisible to the eye. This is called microscopic hematuria, and it is detectable with a simple urine test.
  • In some cases, enough blood is in the urine to noticeably change the urine color. The urine may have a slightly pink or orange hue, or it may be bright red with or without clots.
  • If your urine changes color, you need to see your health-care provider. Bladder cancer often causes no symptoms until it reaches an advanced state that is difficult to cure. Therefore, you may want to talk to your health-care provider about screening tests if you have risk factors for bladder cancer. Screening is testing for cancer in people who have never had the disease and have no symptoms but who have one or more risk factors.

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