What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Bladder Cancer in a Man?

By Prev Info - February 21, 2022

 What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Bladder Cancer in a Man?

Cancer of the bladder is more prevalent in industrialized countries and it is also more common in men than in women.  bladder cancer is the fourth-most-common cancer in men in the U.S., with 38,000 cases annually, compared with only 15,000 in women. Bladder cancer symptoms are the same for men and women, and they mostly involve pain and changes in urinary function. 

Blood in Urine

This symptom, called hematuria, is a prime sign of bladder cancer and should not be ignored. Blood in your urine is never normal, and you should see a doctor right away if you experience this symptom. Urine that is dark yellow, red or cola-colored is an indication that blood may be present, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

doctors always consider bladder cancer a possibility in patients who have bloody urine accompanied by a lack of pain. Blood can also be present in the urine and not be noticeable to the naked eye. In this case, the blood can only be detected through microscopic examination in a lab.  blood in the urine is present in 80 to 90 percent of bladder cancer cases.


Pain while urinating, called dysuria, is another possible symptom of bladder cancer that you should not ignore. The pain could be from a urinary tract infection, which is common in bladder cancer. Bladder cancer can also cause pain in the abdomen or back, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Frequent Urination

Bladder cancer can cause you to need to urinate frequently (called dysuria), although you will usually produce only small amounts of or no urine.

Other Symptoms

A lump or mass in your pelvis and swelling in your lower legs may be signs of advanced bladder cancer. Bladder cancer may also produce other symptoms once it has spread, including weight loss, anemia, and bone pain in the pelvic and rectal areas.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Recurrent Bladder Cancer?

The signs and symptoms of recurrent bladder cancer are no different from those that indicated bladder cancer initially. The stage and grade of the bladder cancer play a part in the likelihood of cancer recurrence. Even after a tumor in the bladder has been eliminated, either with surgery or with an endoscopic procedure, it is still possible that the remaining bladder lining can become malignant and form new tumors. 

Blood in Urine

Hematuria, more commonly referred to as blood in the urine, is one sign and symptom indicative of recurrent bladder cancer. This symptom occurs in the majority of people with bladder cancer. The amount of blood in the urine varies; sometimes the amount is so minute it may go unnoticed by simply looking at the urine with the naked eye. Other times, there can be enough blood in the urine to change the color of the urine to a pale yellow-red or a darker red.

Change in Urination Habits

Recurrent bladder cancer can cause a change in bladder habits. A sense of urgency leading to frequent visits to the bathroom and not being able to urinate or urinating in small amounts each time is a common symptom of recurrent bladder cancer. Another sign is a burning sensation when urinating.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a symptom of recurrent bladder cancer that presents in the latter stages of cancer. Often the pressure of bladder tumors or tumors in the surrounding areas causes pressure and pain in the lower back. Bladder cancer that recurs and metastasizes is more likely to cause lower back pain than recurrent cancer that has not yet spread.

Risks of Bladder Chemotherapy

Thiotepa, mitomycin and doxorubicin are the most common chemotherapy drugs used to treat bladder cancer. Bladder chemotherapy itself poses risks to the patients, as these are powerful drugs than can sometimes leave permanent effects on the body. During treatment, doctors will typically run blood tests to measure kidney and bladder function. Tell your doctor about any side effects you experience. 

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy may be given as a single drug or a combination of drugs. The drugs are designed to kill cancer cells and decrease the size of tumors, and to control cancer and enhance quality of life. The drugs work by interfering with the ability of cancer cells to divide and reproduce.

Mild Risks of Bladder Chemotherapy

Patients may experience bladder wall irritation and pain when urinating. As with many of the drugs used in chemo, nausea and vomiting are common side effects. Patients may receive anti-vomiting (antiemetics) and anti-nausea medication before they begin their treatment for the day. Headaches, constipation, mouth sores, blurred vision, hair loss, anemia, skin reactions, insomnia and lockjaw are other possible side effects. Some patients may develop thrush or herpes simplex virus infections. Fluid retention is another possible risk.

Severe Risks

Two specific chemotherapy drugs are associated with toxic side effects to the bladder. Cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide can lead to cystitis. While diarrhea is at first not a serious side effect, and really quite common, the patient must stay hydrated or dehydration can set in--leading to serious complications. Anti-diarrheal therapy can include soup, water or the patient’s favorite drink. There are a host of anti-diarrheal drugs to help as well. In severe cases, intravenous fluid support might be required. Some drugs can cause adverse reactions on the heart. Patients who receive chemo for bladder cancer may also experience excessive bleeding or bruising.

Other Risks

Some patients may be hypersensitive to chemo. They experience symptoms such as itching, wheezing, hives, tightness in the chest, chills and low blood pressure. Chemo may also cause infertility or damage to the reproductive organs.

Reasons for Bladder Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is one treatment choice for those with bladder cancer. Patients may have had their bladder removed or have had surgery for a tumor, or those with Stage IV bladder cancer may still receive chemotherapy. In the early stages of bladder cancer, chemo is typically given directly into the bladder. Otherwise, it is given intravenously.





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