Finding blood in your urine can be very frightening and must be investigated by a doctor, but it’s not usually a sign of anything life-threatening. There can often be common non-life threatening causes for blood in the urine such as bladder infection, kidney infection, kidney stones, and sexually transmitted diseases.
In some cases, the amount of blood in the urine is so small that it is invisible to the naked eye and is only picked up when a urine test is carried out. This is known as non-visible (microscopic or dipstick) haematuria. If you are worried about your risk of bladder or kidney cancer you should have your urine checked for signs of blood.
What is a urinary tract infection?
A urinary tract infection is a common reason to have blood in the urine. However, there a number of other possible causes including:
- Bladder, kidney or prostate cancer
- Urethritis – inflammation of the water pipe (urethra) that may be due to a sexually-transmitted infection
- An enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia)
- Kidney or bladder stones
- Trauma (injury) to the urinary tract
- Kidney inflammation
How common is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer is common, with around 10,000 people diagnosed with this condition each year. It is the seventh most common cancer in the UK and the fourth most common cancer in men.
What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?
The most common symptom is the presence of blood in the urine.
Other symptoms include:
- Recurrent urine infections
- Pain when passing urine
- Passing urine more frequently.
What causes bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer becomes more common with increasing age. Things that can increase your chance of developing bladder cancer are:
- Chemicals at work. Jobs that involve working with certain chemicals have been linked to a higher risk of bladder cancer. Examples include hairdressing, rubber or plastics manufacturing, painters and mechanics
- Chronic bladder infections and irritation
- Having a history in the family of bladder cancer
- Previous radiotherapy treatment
- Previous schistosomiasis infection. This is a bladder infection caused by a parasite in certain hot countries
How can bladder cancer be diagnosed?
You will require a number of tests to diagnose bladder cancer and work out what type of cancer it is. These include:
- A urine tests to look for cancerous cells
- A CT or MRI scan to look at your kidneys and bladder
- A telescopic inspection of the inner lining of your bladder (cystoscopy).
If there is a bladder tumour, we will recommend a procedure under general anaesthetic to remove the tumour.
If you’ve noticed blood in the urine, even if it’s just happened once, you should see your doctor. In some people, it may be a sign of bladder cancer or kidney cancer, and so it is important to seek specialist advice. If you are concerned about your risk of bladder cancer, book an appointment with Mr Sachin Malde at LycaHealth Canary Wharf.
Mr Malde has expertise in the investigation and treatment of male and female urinary incontinence, bladder dysfunction due to neurological conditions, bladder pain, and urinary tract infections. He also has an interest in the management of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer and performs blue-light (photodynamic) cystoscopy to optimise the diagnosis and management of superficial bladder tumours.
Mr Sachin Malde is a Consultant Urologist at LycaHealth Canary Wharf. His special interests include urological conditions including:
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the semen
- Urinary tract infections or cystitis
- Scrotal or testicular problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Incontinence in men and woman
- Bladder problems
- Overactive bladder
- Bladder pain syndrome or interstitial cystitis
- Bladder cancer
- Prostate problems
- Foreskin problems
Mr Sachin Malde runs clinics at LycaHealth Canary Wharf with appointments available Monday to Friday upon request.
LycaHealth is accepted by all major insurance companies, and has onsite private GP’s should you not have the time to obtain a referral from your local GP.
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