CureSearch for Children's Cancer funds and supportstargeted and innovative children's cancer research with measurableresults, and is the authoritative source of information and resourcesfor all those affected by children's cancer.
Certain types of cancer, as well as its treatment, can
damage your bladder. Here’s what you need to know to assess your risk for
Radiation to the pelvic area and chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide,
ifosfamide, or both increase risk for bladder problems.
Bladder problems that can occur include bleeding into the
bladder (hemorrhagic cystitis), scarring (fibrosis), and bladder cancer.
In this condition, bladder irritation results in blood in
your urine, making it slightly pink to bright red. Most people don’t have pain,
but some people feel an urgent need to urinate or like they can’t release all
the urine. Bleeding into the bladder can occur off and on for months to years
after cancer treatment is completed.
Hemorrhagic cystitis is most often diagnosed after a person
goes to the doctor because of blood in their urine. When the amount of blood in
urine is very small and can’t be seen, a lab test can identify if blood is
If you have hemorrhagic cystitis, follow these tips to help
In this condition, scar tissue forms in the bladder. The
scar tissue can build up over time, causing the bladder wall to thicken. When
this happens, pressure inside the bladder increases, which can affect how the
bladder stores and empties urine. Over time, these changes can lead to kidney
damage (see related Health Link: “Kidney Health after Childhood Cancer”).
Some people with bladder fibrosis have no symptoms. For
others, symptoms include:
Bladder fibrosis can be diagnosed by ultrasound or a test
where your doctor looks into your bladder with a thin, lighted tube
Bladder cancer is a rare type of secondary cancer that can
occur in people at risk for bladder problems. The most common symptom is blood
in the urine. Other symptoms include an urgent or frequent need to urinate.
Pain over the bladder, in the genital area, or in the bones may occur in people
with advanced bladder cancer.
Bladder cancer is diagnosed most often by biopsy of bladder
tissue. Sometimes cancer cells can be found in urine.
Call your doctor if you find blood in your urine or if you
have fever, pain when urinating, trouble urinating, or the need to urinate
urgently or often. If you have bladder fibrosis or if you are worried about
bladder cancer, ask your doctor for a referral to a doctor who specializes in
the urinary tract (urologist).