What symptoms did you experience with your bladder cancer?
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What are bladder cancer symptoms and signs?
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is
bleeding in the urine
(hematuria). Most often the bleeding is "gross" (visible to the naked eye),
episodic (occurs in episodes), and is not associated with pain (painless
hematuria). However, sometimes the bleeding may only be visible under a
microscope (microscopic hematuria) or may be associated with pain due to the
blockage of urine by formation of blood clots. There may be no symptoms or
bleeding for prolonged periods of time between episodes, lulling the patient into
a false sense of security ("I don't know what the problem was, but it is fine
now!"). Some types of bladder cancer may cause irritative symptoms of the
bladder with little or no bleeding. The patients may have the desire to urinate
small amounts in short intervals (frequency), inability to hold the urine for
any length of time after the initial desire to void (urgency), or burning
sensation while passing urine (dysuria). These symptoms occur more commonly in
patients with high-grade, flat urothelial cancers called "carcinoma in situ" or
"CIS" (described subsequently in the section on staging of bladder cancer).
Rarely, patients may present with signs and symptoms of more advanced disease
such as a distended bladder (due to obstruction by a tumor at the bladder neck),
pain in the flanks (due to obstruction of urine flow from kidney to the bladder
by the growing tumor mass in the bladder), bone pains, or
cough/blood in the
phlegm (due to spread to cancer cells to bones or lungs).