Medically speaking, red-coloured urine is known as gross hematuria. Until proven otherwise, gross hematuria should be assumed to be cancerous.
The most common malignancy of the urinary tract is BLADDER CANCER. It is four times commoner in men. Smoking is the most important risk factor associated with more than half of the cases. Other risk factors include exposure to bladder irradiation, dye, rubber, textile material and parasitic infection- schistosomiasis.
Painless gross hematuria (“bloody” urine) is the most common symptom, occurring in over 80% of patients. Dysuria, frequency, urgency, lower abdominal pain and bone pain (if metastatic).
Digital rectal examination and bimanual palpation may reveal a pelvic mass in locally advanced disease.
There are four types of bladder cancer- papilloma, papillary urothelial neoplasm of low malignant potential, low grade urothelial carcinoma and high grade urogenital carcinoma.
If your doctor is suspecting bladder cancer, he might request for the following investigations:
- Urine microscopy, culture and sensitivity test
- Abdominopelvic scan which may reveal bladder lesions in the form of intra-luminal filling defects.
- Cystoscopy: This is the diagnostic gold standard.
- Computed tomography urography
- MRI urography
Options of treatment depends on the stage of the cancer. Specialist in this field of medicine are called urologists.
OTHER CAUSES OF BLOODY URINE
Advanced colorectal carcinoma infiltrating the bladder wall
Urinary tract infection
HOW TO PREVENT BLADDER CANCER
- Avoid smoking. Smoking is the most common risk factor.
- Reduce your exposure to dye.
- Minimize your exposure to textile materials.
- Pay attention to change in your bowel habit. As change in bowel habit for a long period of time is often associated with colorectal cancer which in advanced stage can cause bladder infiltration leading to bloody urine.
Dr. Adeyemo Olusola is a medical graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Nigeria along with certificate in advanced diploma in Principles of Nutrition, Management and Leadership, Dublin and Certificate in Global Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is an avid reader of books from different oases of life, expert in Medical Statistics and an award winner at both local and international level. “So many a time, I have seen people die avoidable death because of lack of knowledge or information, falling victim of fate. There is then a necessity laid on us to help arm our society to the teeth, as a healthy society cannot be detached from an informed one. Hence, there is need for healthgist.net. We hope you will have a wonderful stay on our website.”