Blood in urine is one of the symptoms of prostate cancer, a disease that occurs when cells in the prostate start to grow out of control. The prostate is a gland that is sized and shaped like a walnut, which is found in a man’s reproductive system and located below the bladder, near the rectum and around the urethra. Due to the location of the gland, prostate cancer affects both the reproductive and urinary systems.
Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among American men, with about 180,890 new cases diagnosed, and 26,120 resulting deaths every year, according to American Cancer Society estimates. Prostate cancer is particularly rare among younger men, while the average age of diagnosis is 66 years. About one in every seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Blood in Urine Experienced as Symptom of Prostate Cancer
Depending on the stage of the disease, patients with prostate cancer may experience symptoms related to urinary problems, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate frequently (especially at night), erectile dysfunction, pain in the hips, back, chest, or other areas from cancer that has spread to bones, weakness or numbness in the legs or feet. Blood in the urine or semen also is a symptom.
Blood in urine is known as hematuria, and it can be related to a number of conditions, often not severe or consequential. But in the case of prostate cancer, it usually occurs in advanced stages of the disease and it should not be ignored. Instead of the normal pale yellow color of the urine, men may note it is pink, red, brownish-red, or tea-colored. In some cases, it may not be seen with naked eye, but the presence of red blood cells in urine can be detected in the lab.
Blood in urine is associated with damage to the kidneys, where urine is created, or to a problem in another part of the urinary tract, including the ureters (the tubes that transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder), the bladder (where urine is stored), or the urethra (the tube where urine passes from the bladder and exits the penis). The tumor may press one of these structures, while blood in urine also may be a side effect of radiation therapy. Reporting blood in urine to a doctor may help readjust the treatment and improve patients’ quality of life.
Management of Blood in Urine by Prostate Cancer Patients
There is no standard treatment for blood in urine and prostate cancer. That’s because blood in the urine is a symptom and not a disease in itself. So, to manage the problem, physicians start by evaluating it. In addition to asking about a patient’s medical history and appearance of the blood in urine, physicians request a urine sample to be analyzed in a test called urinalysis, and/or a urine cytology, which consists of microscopically seeking abnormal cells in the urine.
Blood tests may be ordered to look for high levels of wastes that kidneys are supposed to remove. Additional exams that may be requested include a computed tomography (CT) scan, a kidney ultrasound, an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), a cystoscopy, or a biopsy. If prostate cancer is confirmed, treatment options include watchful waiting or active surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, cryosurgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, vaccine treatment and bone-directed treatment.
The treatment plan is defined by a physician or a multi-disciplinary team of physicians, including urologists and oncologists. Treatment depends on factors like the cancer’s stage and grade, patient’s age and expected lifespan, and additional health conditions. Other considerations include the patient’s and physician’s opinions about the urgency of treating the cancer, potential side effects from each treatment, and the probability of each treatment in curing the cancer.
Note: Prostate Cancer News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.