Cancer Treatment: Kidney and Bladder Side Effects

Some anticancer drugs can irritate the bladder or cause temporary or permanent damage to the bladder or kidneys. If you are taking one or more of these drugs, your doctor may ask you to collect a 24-hour urine sample. A blood sample may also be obtained before you begin chemotherapy to check your kidney function. Some anticancer drugs cause the urine to change color (orange, red, green, or yellow) or take on a strong or medicine-like odor for 24-72 hours. Check with your doctor to see if the drugs you are taking may have any of these effects.

Always drink plenty of fluids to ensure good urine flow and help prevent problems. This is very important if you are taking drugs that affect the kidney and bladder. Water, juice, soft drinks, broth, ice cream, soup, popsicles, and gelatin are all considered fluids.

Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Pain or burning when you urinate (pass your water).
  • Frequent urination.
  • Not being able to urinate.
  • A feeling that you must urinate right away ("urgency").
  • Reddish or bloody urine.
  • Fever.
  • Chills, especially shaking chills.

For more information about cancer therapy side effects, and coping with them, please read the  "Chemotherapy and Cancer Treatment, Coping with Side Effects" article.

SOURCE: National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov)


Last Editorial Review: 11/12/2002




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