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A deeper insight into bladder cancer


An international survey demonstrated that there is a significant lack of awareness of the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer among the general public. Find out more by downloading the We Care survey results below.


View and download infographic

One of the challenges with diagnosing bladder cancer early is that symptoms often do not appear until the later stages – but there are certain things to look out for.


Blood in the urine is the most common early symptom of bladder cancer.4,5 If you spot blood in your urine, which may be a red or brown discolouration,5 it’s important to visit your doctor.


Additional symptoms of bladder cancer which may appear later can include bladder irritation, such as pain during or urgency of urination, unexplained weight loss, urinary infections that don’t respond to antibiotics and incontinence.6

You should also visit your doctor if you experience persistent ongoing bladder irritation or a combination of all of the above symptoms.

Spot blood symptoms

We Care signs and symptoms checklist

The following guide explains what bladder cancer is and the signs and symptoms to look out for. You can download the guide to keep for future reference or to give to someone to inform them about bladder cancer.

Spot blood symptoms

View and download checklist

It’s important to remember that if you have any of these signs and symptoms it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have bladder cancer. However, it is important to recognise the potential early symptoms.

Doctor and patient perspectives


Here you can find out about Dave’s experience of being diagnosed with bladder cancer and hear from Professor Nick James, from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK who explains the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer.

Click here to watch Dave talk about his experience of bladder cancer; from spotting the signs and symptoms to being diagnosed.

Dave’s bladder cancer story: a patient perspective

Do you have blood in your urine or have an increased need to urinate? Click below to hear Professor Nick James from Queen Elizabeth Hospital provide more information on bladder cancer.

Professor Nick James talks bladder cancer and its signs and symptoms

About bladder cancer

About bladder cancer

About bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is the 10th most common cancer,1 for both men and women, and occurs when a growth of abnormal tissue (a tumour) develops in the lining of the bladder.4 It can be either non-invasive, where the cancer is only found in the lining of the bladder and has not spread, or invasive, where the cancer has spread deeper into the organ or to other parts of the body.4

Older people are the most likely group to get bladder cancer, although people of all ages can be affected.1 While more common in men,1 women are more likely to be diagnosed in the advanced stages of the disease.7 This is because the main symptoms of bladder cancer (such as blood in the urine) is frequently mistaken for menstruation or a urinary tract infection8,9 in the early stages.

Early diagnosis is known to improve the chances of survival.3 This may be due to the fact that, in earlier stages of the disease, the cancer is more likely to be non-invasive and there could potentially be more treatment options available to address it.4

Every year, over half a million people worldwide are diagnosed with bladder cancer.1 Early diagnosis is key to preventing the cancer from spreading. If caught early, 96% of people will be alive after 5 years.3 However, in those in whom the cancer has spread, the prognosis is much poorer, with only 5% of people alive after 5 years.3 For women, a delayed diagnosis is associated with a lower 5-year survival rate than that for men – 15% of women diagnosed at stage 4 will survive for 5 years, compared with 27% of men.7 This is why it is so important to have an early diagnosis for both women and men.

About bladder cancer

About We Care

One in 10 people with bladder cancer are diagnosed when the disease has already spread and the chances of survival are reduced.3 Our mission is to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer, providing people at risk of developing the disease, plus their friends and family, with the knowledge to spot it.

The We Care campaign is an initiative driven by Roche and supported by The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC). This campaign was launched because of a significant lack of public awareness of bladder cancer, as demonstrated by research which shows 62% of people are unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms of the disease.

The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC)

The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) – Why We Care


Cancer can be one of the most frightening things we can face, and a diagnosis has the potential to turn a life upside down in an instant. The journey that follows is different for everyone. It can be both emotionally and practically focused; many people need time to come to terms with their diagnosis, but they may also feel the need to develop a practical plan to beat their cancer.

Read more