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Learn: Symptoms

Let’s start from the beginning.

The bladder is the organ in your body that stores and then releases your wee. The wee comes down from your kidneys through the ureters into the bladder throughout the day and night, then it is held in the bladder until it sends a signal to your brain telling you that you need to have a wee. 

It is a very efficient system that we never really think about until we get a problem. For most people, the system works very well throughout their lives, with maybe the occasional UTI (urinary tract infection) that would need a course of antibiotics.

However, sometimes the problem can be more serious than this. If you are reading this website either yourself or a loved one has probably been told that they could have bladder cancer, or has got some worrying symptoms and you are looking to find out what they mean. 

Symptoms of bladder cancer

Blood in your wee.

This is the most common symptom of bladder cancer. It can be obvious when clearly visible to the eye (when your wee is bright red, rusty or pink) but sometimes it can be invisible and can only be found by your doctor by testing a sample of your wee.

Blood in your wee is also a symptom of many less serious medical conditions so further tests will be needed to make a diagnosis. 

Other symptoms of bladder cancer can be any or a number of the following: 

  • Urinary infections that don’t respond to antibiotics. Urinary infections that don’t respond to antibiotics.
  • Pain when weeing Pain when weeing
  • Needing to wee frequently Needing to wee frequently
  • Tiredness Tiredness
  • Abdominal pain Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss Weight loss
  • Incontinence Incontinence
  • Lower back pain Lower back pain

Very few people will experience all the symptoms.

You may only experience one of these symptoms with your particular cancer. If you are in any doubt about your symptoms talk to your GP. 

As with everything, it is also very important to note that other less serious conditions can have these same symptoms, so you must see your GP to rule out other possible causes. This is why, if there is any hint that your symptoms could be from bladder cancer, you will be sent for more detailed tests.

Read more about the tests to diagnose bladder cancer ...

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We’ve done everything we can to make all the information on this site as accurate as possible. Whilst we have had support from a small team of medical professionals advisors to review the general medical content of this site, please remember, that only YOUR medical team can give YOU specific advice about YOUR symptoms or illness. We encourage you to discuss any potential options with them.