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Redmond Regional Medical Center

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer may not have many symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to cancer. Most of these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions, such as urinary tract infections. If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor for a diagnosis. Early treatment can improve outcomes for both cancer and infections.

The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine. The urine may appear brown, rust colored, or it may have visible blood clots in it. Typically, bloody urine is intermittent, meaning it may appear one day and disappear another. This does not mean there is not a problem or that it goes away. Anytime blood appears in the urine, even if there is no pain, it should be reported to your doctor.

Irritation to the bladder can affect how it holds and passes urine. Symptoms of irritation include:

  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Intense urgency when needing to urinate
  • Pain and/or burning with urination
  • Inability to hold urine
  • Obstructive problems such as:
    • Decreased force of stream
    • Intermittent stream
    • Straining
    • Feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder

Later stages of cancer may cause:

  • Sensation of a pelvic mass
  • Pain in the abdomen, lower back, or side caused by pressure on nearby nerves
  • Decreased appetite and unintended weight loss
  • Intense fatigue, abnormally low energy
  • Swelling from excess fluid in the legs and feet
  • Bone pain

Revision Information

  • Bladder cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: Accessed June 26, 2015.

  • Bladder cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated May 14, 2015. Accessed June 26, 2015.

  • Bladder cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated November 2013. Accessed June 26, 2015.

  • General information about bladder cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: Updated May 29, 2015. Accessed June 26, 2015.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. Redmond Regional Medical Center does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.