By Jeremy Lieb, MD
Painless gross hematuria (bloody urine) is one of the most common finding in patients with bladder cancer. There has been lots of attention to cigarette smoking causing lung cancer, you may remember the television advertisements with patients smoking through a tracheostomy. I’m still waiting for the ad where a patient goes to the bathroom and urinates blood. Many people don’t realize the significance of this finding and often delay a Urology appointment for months because the symptoms appear to go away and then return several weeks later.
Your Urologist will order xrays of the kidneys and then perform and office cystoscopy procedure (looking into the bladder). Fortunately, most bladder cancer is superficial and easily treated. There is an extremely high recurrence rate of bladder tumors (almost 100% is many patients). It is necessary to perform follow-up cystoscopy procedures in the office every three months to monitor for recurrence. If the returning tumors are caught early then they can be treated in the office with a quick and simple cautery burning.
If you see blood in your urine please make an appointment as soon as possible!