The bladder is a hollow organ found in the lower part of the tummy, known as the pelvis. Its job is to store and empty urine from the body.

Like many parts of the body it can be affected by cancer, a disease that occurs when abnormal cells divide and spread uncontrollably. Bladder cancer is actually the 11th most common form of the disease in the UK, but the ninth most deadly.

It accounts for more than 10,000 new diagnoses every year and around 5,600 deaths. Therefore, being aware of any of the potential warning signs is vital.

One expert shared the symptoms to act on via YouTube. Speaking to his more than 200,000 subscribers, Doctor James O’Donovan, explained: “Now without getting too technical the bladder is made up of lots of different layers of muscle and tissue and bladder cancer can be localised within the first few layers of the bladder tissue or it can be more advanced and spread deeper into other parts of the body.”

He warned of four main symptoms to look for, which included:

  • Blood in urine
  • Passing urine very often
  • A burning sensation or pain when passing urine
  • Funny-smelling urine.

According to Dr O’Donovan, finding blood in your urine is the most common symptom that affects around 80 percent of patients.

He said: “Now there are two different things that are important to note here.

“The first is that you might visibly see the blood in your urine, if you do see blood in the urine it typically looks bright red but sometimes it might look dark brown or pink.

“Now the second important point is that you actually might not be able to see blood in the urine with your own eyes.

“Sometimes the blood is there in such small amounts that you can’t see it but a urine dipstick test will be able to pick this up and that’s something that is very simple and easy for your doctor to do.”

He added that the blood might not be there all the time, “it can come and go”.

“The bleeding is not usually painful but if you ever see blood in your urine you should always go to see your doctor,” Dr O’Donovan said.

He then moved on to the less common signs.

These include passing urine very often, “which is medically known as increased frequency passing urine”.

You might also experience pain or a burning sensation when passing urine for which the medical term is dysuria.

Other symptoms are “much more likely” to be linked to other, less serious conditions, he said.

Dr O’Donovan said: “For example, if you’re experiencing a burning sensation when you pee and your pee smells a bit funny you most likely have a urine infection.

“In men the symptoms of needing to go to the toilet more frequently and at nighttime could be caused by an enlarged prostate gland. Nonetheless it’s best to see a doctor to get checked out if you do have any of these symptoms.”

If the cancer has spread or has become more advanced it can also cause other symptoms unrelated to the bladder.

These include:

Dr O’Donovan added: “These symptoms that we’ve discussed can be caused by other medical conditions, many people with these symptoms don’t have bladder cancer.

“However, for precautionary reasons if you do have any of the symptoms especially blood and the urine it’s very important to see a doctor.”

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