Which clinical history findings are characteristic of bladder cancer?

Updated: Apr 03, 2019
  • Author: E Jason Abel, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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A thorough history should be obtained, and a thorough physical examination should be performed. In patients with bladder cancer, the most common presenting symptom is painless hematuria (85%). Hematuria is often intermittent; therefore, a single urinalysis finding may not be significant. Bladder irritability that manifests as urinary frequency, urgency, and dysuria is the second most common symptom. These symptoms rarely occur without hematuria (microscopic or gross). Flank pain due to ureteral obstruction, lower-extremity edema, and pelvic masses are other presenting symptoms. Symptoms of advanced disease, such as weight loss and abdominal or bone pain, are rare because patients usually seek medical attention before these develop.

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