Symptoms and diagnosis of bladder cancer

Woman holding her pelvic area

Symptoms of bladder cancer 

  • Blood in the urine – either brown or red in colour.
  • Needing to pass urine urgently.
  • Passing urine more often.
  • A burning feeling when you pass urine.

These symptoms can also be caused by conditions other than cancer, but it’s important to go to the GP and get any unusual changes checked out. 

Can I be screened for bladder cancer?

Testing for bladder cancer when you have no symptoms is called screening. There is no national bladder cancer screening programme in Ireland at present. If you are concerned about bladder cancer, talk to your GP.

Diagnosing bladder cancer

Your family doctor (GP) will talk to you about your symptoms. Your GP will refer you to hospital if they think you need more tests. Tests you might have include:

A urine sample check: Your urine can be tested to see if your symptoms are being caused by an infection. If you have bladder cancer there may be cancer cells in your urine.

Internal examination: The doctor puts a gloved finger into your back passage or vagina. This because the bladder is close to the bowel, prostate gland and womb, so there may be changes to these parts of the body if you have bladder cancer. 

Cytoscopy: A small tube with a light passed into your bladder to look at the bladder lining.

A urologist is a doctor who specialises in treating bladder and kidney problems

For more information

Icon: Phone


1800 200 700

Icon: Email