A variety of bladder tumor symptoms are possible in affected patients. Classically, the first symptom these patients experience is blood in their urine. If the tumor grows and irritates the inner wall of the bladder, patients can experience symptoms such as pain with urination, increased urinary frequency, and an intensified urgency to urinate. A tumor that blocks the outflow of the bladder can cause pain or a sense of incomplete voiding after urination. In contrast, a tumor that blocks flow into the bladder causes symptoms such as decreased urine output and lower back pain.
One of the most common of the bladder tumor symptoms is blood in the urine, a condition known as hematuria. Often patients do not have any pain associated with blood in the urine. Typically, the blood is seen throughout the voiding process, but is most prominent during the middle of urination. The bladder tumor causes this symptom by disrupting the inner lining of the bladder and exposing blood vessels to the stored urine.
Other bladder tumor symptoms can arise from irritation of the inner wall of the bladder. This can result in symptoms such as an increased sense of urgency with the need to urinate, an increased frequency of urination, and pain in the lower abdomen. Patients might notice that they awaken numerous times throughout the night due to a need to urinate, a condition known as nocturia. Additionally, patients can report pain with urination.
Growth of the bladder tumor can sometimes block the drainage of the bladder. This most frequently happens when the tumor is located in the bottom portion of the bladder and obstructs the opening to the urethra. Symptoms associated with this state include a sense of incomplete evacuation after urination, straining with urination, and a fullness of the lower abdomen.
Pain is another one of the common bladder tumor symptoms. Growth of the tumor in and around the bladder can cause pain in the region above the pubic bone. If the tumor blocks the flow of urine into the bladder, the backflow of urine can put pressure on the kidneys and cause pain in the lower back.
When the bladder tumor is a malignant cancer, such as a transitional cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, it has the ability to metastasize to other parts of the body by spreading through the blood or lymphatic system. The first location the tumors spread to is often to the lymph nodes located in the groin. Symptoms associated with disease in this area can include pain and swelling. Spread to distant locations such as the lungs or brain can cause other symptoms, such as shortness of breath and headache respectively.