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Symptoms & Causes of Bladder Cancer

Symptoms Of Bladder Cancer

Blood in the Urine (hematuria)

Having blood in your urine is the most common symptom of bladder cancer. Sometimes you can see the blood in your urine, but most of the time you can’t. In many cases, it will need to be tested under a microscope by a pathologist to be sure. Having blood in your urine does not automatically mean you have bladder cancer. Things like a urinary tract infection or kidney stones can cause blood to appear in your urine. It’s even normal for some people to have a bit of blood in their urine.

Frequent or Painful Urination (dysuria)

Although less common, frequent or painful urination not due to a urinary tract infection can be a sign of bladder cancer. If you have these symptoms or concerns, contact us today for an appointment or to request more information.

Causes of Bladder Cancer

It’s not always clear to doctors what causes bladder cancer. However, there are several risk factors that may increase your chance of developing it:


Smoking is responsible for half of all bladder cancers in the United States. When you smoke, some of the chemicals are expelled into your urine. Over time, this can damage the lining of your bladder. Bladder cancer is two to three times more likely to occur in smokers than non-smokers.


Think of your kidneys as a filtration system. They play a key part in removing harmful chemicals from your blood and body. This means that when you are exposed to chemicals that are linked to cancer (carcinogens), they can find their way to your bladder. These harmful chemicals then sit there for a few hours before you urinate. High levels of arsenic in drinking water is linked to higher rates of bladder cancer. Plus, chemicals used in the manufacture of dyes, paints, rubber, leather and textiles can increase your risk. Hairdressers, machinists, printers, painters and truck drivers may be at higher risk. Chemicals are responsible for about 23% of all bladder cancers.

Other Risk Factors

  • Increasing Age - Although bladder cancer can occur at any age, it rarely appears in people younger than 40.
  • Race and Sex - Caucasians have a greater risk than other races, and males about four times more than women.
  • Bladder Infections - Having frequent bladder infections or ones that last a long time.
  • Certain Medicines - Certain drugs used for treating other cancers, such as cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®).
  • Radiation Therapy – When used on the pelvic area, such as for prostate and cervical cancer.