“Blood in the urine could be a sign of bladder cancer – get checked out if you’re concerned” – Miriam Stoppard

Toilet problems are so often ignored out of embarrassment, but Dr. Miriam Stoppard says ruling out cancer is crucial

Blood in the urine can have a variety of causes
Blood in the urine can have a variety of causes

Problems related to the toilet are so often not discussed out of embarrassment. But it’s always best to get these conditions checked so you can rule things out and relax or move on with treatment.

A friend recently called me in a panic to tell me she had blood in her urine, which she thought was an ominous sign. I asked if she had eaten beets. She had, so I was able to reassure her by saying it was probably the purple-pink pigment Beetroot go through And it was.

In this case, the color is evenly distributed in the urine and appears pink.

Blood isn’t always like that. It can be streaky, even in clumps. But it can be a serious sign and should definitely prompt you to seek medical attention.

For doctors, this means blood in the urine Cancer until it is proven that it is not so. We test for bladder, prostate or kidney cancer and really hope it’s something else.

The most common sign of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, known as hematuria. According to Anika Madaan, it occurs in about 80% of patients Imperial College London.

Eating beetroot can change the color of your urine


(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

But not all people with visible hematuria have cancer — it can be from an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia), a urinary tract infection (UTI), or even from strenuous exercise. A urinary tract infection would present with pain when going to the toilet, hematuria with cloudy urine, frequent and urgent need to walk, and possibly discharge from a sexually transmitted infection.

Exercise, such as long-distance running or non-impact activities such as swimming, can cause transient hematuria that is usually not visible and improves in a day or two.

There are “mimics” to hematuria, including drugs like rifampicin and chloroquine, and foods — my friend found out — with beets, blackberries, or red food coloring.

Contamination with menstrual or vaginal bleeding can be ruled out by a vaginal examination.

Smoking is linked to bladder cancer, as is occupational exposure to carcinogens such as rubber, dyes, textiles, chemicals, and a family history of bladder cancer.

Anyone over 45 with unexplained visible hematuria can be evaluated for a suspected cancer pathway. Studies have shown that 14-34% of outpatients presenting with blood in their urine were diagnosed with cancer, including vulvar and cervical cancer.

The likelihood of hematuria being caused by cancer varies greatly by age and gender. For men and women under 45 it is less than 1%.

However, younger patients should continue to be tested through a non-cancer pathway, where the time to an appointment may be longer than the two-week target for suspected cancer referrals.

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Fry Electronics Team

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