Additional symptoms of bladder cancer can include pain during urination,4 unexplained weight loss,6 urinary infections that don’t respond to antibiotics7 and incontinence.8
If you spot blood in your urine, which includes seeing a red or brown colour,6 it is recommended that you visit your doctor.
In addition, if you experience persistent ongoing bladder irritation (such as pain whilst peeing or an urgent need to pee) or a combination of all of the above symptoms, you should consider visiting your doctor.
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.
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.
We Care game
Despite being one of the most common forms of cancer,1 awareness of bladder cancer is low.2 To help you spot the signs below is a gaming tool that provides a fun and educational way to learn more.
Want to test your knowledge of bladder cancer?
Help Bernie Bladder spot the most common signs and symptoms, and navigate through obstacles to earn points and climb the scoreboard.
About bladder cancer
About bladder cancer
Bladder cancer is one of the top 10 most common cancers in the world 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 found only 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.
Older people are the most likely group to get bladder cancer, although people of all ages can be affected.9 While more common in men,1 women are more likely to be diagnosed in the advanced stages of the disease. This is because the main symptom of bladder cancer (blood in the urine) is frequently mistaken for menstruation10 in the early stages and is, therefore, not considered a cause for concern.
Every year, almost 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.9 However, in those in whom the cancer has spread, the prognosis is much poorer, with only 5% of people alive after 5 years.9 That is why it is so important to have an early diagnosis.
Doctor & 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.
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.
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.9 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 that shows 62% of people are unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms of the disease.
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 focussed; 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
Since 2003, at ECPC we have made it our mission to support patients in these times of uncertainty by providing guidance and information about cancer, and have strived to be the voice upon which patients with cancer can depend.
In bladder cancer particularly, there is an acute need to provide support and information on the disease. If caught in the early stages the prognosis is good, with most people alive after 5 years,9 but for those who are diagnosed late, the prognosis is poor. Our Bladder Cancer White Paper highlighted that awareness levels of the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer are low across Europe. It is therefore crucial that we raise awareness of these important indicators of bladder cancer so that those at risk are equipped with the knowledge to be able to seek an early diagnosis.
ECPC is proud to support the We Care campaign, through our shared goals to promote public awareness and early diagnosis of bladder cancer, demonstrating that together, we care. For more information visit www.ecpc.org and click this link to read our Bladder Cancer White Paper.
Andrew Winterbottom, ECPC Treasurer and bladder cancer patientRead less
News just in: We Care survey results are launched. A new international survey of the general public has shown a severe lack of awareness of the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer. Find out more by downloading the We Care survey results below.