Many people with these symptoms will not have bladder cancer. They can be caused by an infection or stones in the bladder or kidney. But if you have any symptoms, it is important to get them checked by your GP. The earlier bladder cancer is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be cured.
We understand that having any symptoms that could be cancer is worrying. The most important thing is to talk to your GP as soon as possible.
We list the most common symptoms of bladder cancer below.
Blood in your pee is called haematuria. It is the most common symptom of bladder cancer. It can happen suddenly and may come and go.
Your pee may look pink, red or sometimes brown. You may see streaks or clots of blood in it. If you see blood in your pee, it is important to get it checked by your GP as soon as possible.
Sometimes blood in your pee cannot be seen and is found during a urine test. This is called non-visible haematuria. If you have urinary symptoms (see below), your GP will ask you to give them a sample of urine. They test this for non-visible blood.
- have a burning feeling when peeing (passing urine)
- need to pee more often
- need to rush to the toilet to pee
- have difficulty peeing
- feel like you have not completely emptied your bladder after peeing.
These symptoms are usually caused by an infection, an overactive bladder or an enlarged prostate rather than cancer. Some people may need more tests to find out the cause of their symptoms or because they have repeated urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Below is a sample of the sources used in our bladder cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mottet N, Bellmunt J, Briers E, et al. Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (TaT1 and CIS). European Association of Urology (Internet), 2021. Available from uroweb.org/guideline/non-muscle-invasive-bladder-cancer (accessed September 2021).
Witjes JA, Bruins HM, Cathomas R, et al. Muscle-invasive and metastatic bladder cancer. European Association of Urology (Internet), 2021, Available from uroweb.org/guideline/bladder-cancer-muscle-invasive-and-metastatic (accessed September 2021).
This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Dr Ursula McGovern, Consultant Medical Oncologist.
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