While it is good to gain knowledge regarding the symptoms of bladder cancer, don’t wait until it gets worse. See your vet for an accurate diagnosis – early detection is key to treating the condition.
Bladder cancer symptoms
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, although a variety of urinary problems can also be symptoms.
It’s important to understand that the early signs and symptoms of bladder cancer are often intermittent rather than severe.
blood in urine
Urinary bleeding, or bleeding from bladder cancer, is usually painless and noticeable, and it comes and goes. In fact, the blood may be present and then disappear and reappear days or weeks later.
In bladder cancer, there is usually blood throughout the urine. This is a subtle hint that something might go wrong, but it’s not a hard and fast rule.
But sometimes blood in the urine is not visible to the naked eye. Instead, it is taken under a microscope – usually on urine for another purpose in the vet’s office.
According to the American Family Physician, about 20 percent of people who have visible blood in their urine have bladder cancer and about 10 percent of people with small cysts have bladder cancer, with a rate of 2 to 5 percent.
It is important to understand that having blood in your urine does not necessarily mean that you have bladder cancer. In fact, a good percentage of healthy people — about 9% to 18% — have some blood in their urine. For most people, it is not caused by cancer
It is important to see your vet and/or urologist if you have blood in your urine. While it may not be anything, it could also be a sign of an infection, a stone, kidney disease, or a tumor in the bladder (bladder, prostate, or kidney). Again, early detection is crucial.
Irritability when urinating
People with bladder cancer have one or more of the following symptoms: 3
Burning, pain, or discomfort when urinating
The need to urinate more than usual during the day and/or at night
The urge to urinate even when the bladder is not full
Involuntary loss of urine (urinary dysfunction).
Of course, these symptoms can also be caused by other medical problems, such as urinary tract infections or an enlarged prostate in males. Anyway, check it out.
obstruction when urinating
If you feel that something is obstructing urination, it is also important to see your vet. Again, like bothersome symptoms, this could be due to something else (eg an enlarged cyst), but you need to evaluate for an accurate diagnosis.
In general, obstructive symptoms are less common than provocative symptoms in bladder cancer. Examples include:
Feeling of not wanting to urinate, such as difficulty urinating or noticing weak and/or intermittent urine flow
Feeling unable to get all the urine out of the bladder
trying to pee
Pelvic pain (pain in the side or center of the pelvis) can occur when a tumor blocks the urethra (one of the body’s tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder).
When bladder cancer spreads to other parts of the body — called metastases — you may develop symptoms of advanced disease. These include common symptoms such as:
Unintended weight loss
Pain can also be a sign of the tumor spreading, especially pain in the side or the area above the pelvis. Pain in the perineum (the area between the vagina/penis and the anus) can also occur with bladder cancer that has reached nearby tissues.
Depending on where the bladder cancer has spread, you may experience symptoms that are specific to that area. For example:
Bladder cancer that has spread to the lungs can cause coughing, difficulty breathing, or even vomiting.
Bladder cancer that has spread to the kidneys can cause kidney function problems that can lead to swollen legs or feet.
Bone pain can occur when a person’s cancer spreads to the bones.
Abdominal pain can occur when cancer spreads to the liver or lymph nodes in the colon.