Blood in the urine can't necessarily be assumed to be a typical case of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Our immediate reaction may be to undergo a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and the problem may only vanish to reappear on another day.
- A stone in the kidney, ureter or urinary bladder
Lowered fluid intake, acidic food, and acute dehydration create an environment where salts of calcium or uric acid and oxalates crystallize and clump together forming hard stony masses. These minute stones interfere with kidney function and destroy healthy tissue. Their slow and tortuous descent into the bladder create ripples of agonizing pain and bleeding.
- Enlargement of Prostate (benign)
For reasons unknown, elderly males are more susceptible to prostate enlargement, and it has potential to create a host of issues including painful urination, delayed urine release, and bleeding in the urine.
- Sickle cell anemia and the diseased state of kidneys
The deformation and weakening of normal red blood cells and chronic kidney disease are sometimes genetically inherited. The weakened membranes and blood vessels within a dysfunctional kidney allow narrower red bed cells to pass through barriers into the urine.
Cancer - the single biggest risk factor leading to bloody urine
Often overlooked, cancer of the urinary bladder is one of the biggest factors in America causing death due to internal malignancy. Age is a crucial factor and it affects mostly men with the forecast becoming increasingly negative as age increases.
A combination of the genetically inherited susceptibility to bladder cancer and environmental factors triggers the onset of this condition in elderly men. Scientists have already identified the genetically modified gene marker that triggers bladder cancer.
It is not a coincidence that nearly half the deaths attributed to bladder cancer comprise of people who are addicted to smoking. There is a sequence of events that can be attributed to this condition:
- Tobacco tar and associated toxins are inhaled through the lungs
- Toxins enter the bloodstream through the lungs’ alveolar sacs
- Kidneys isolate and expel toxins and add them to urine
- Bladder stores urine and toxic contents for prolonged periods, often under instances of extreme dehydration, leading to the concentration of urine
- The toxins begin taking their toll on the walls of epithelial cells lining the bladder.
- Modified marker genes trigger cancerous growths in bladder walls.
- Pain in urination and loss of blood through urine follows
Chemotherapy and radiation
If the patient is already undergoing chemotherapy in combination with radiotherapy, the chances of triggering bladder cancer are increased substantially.
Hematuria and Cancer
Blood in urine is one of the most visible signs of cancer, yet it is a symptom often discovered too late, as cancer has already grown in the individual. The undeniable fact is that bleeding in urine is almost always absent in the early stages of tumor growth. By the time blood appears in the urine, bladder cancer would have progressed to an advanced stage.
The last word
Even though blood in urine is undeniably a high-risk factor pointing to cancer, the role of other conditions cannot be under-emphasized. Kidney stones, genetically induced disorders, and kidney disease also lead to bloody urine. Whatever the hidden cause triggering blood in urine, prompts medical attention and diagnostic imaging can help identify the problem.
The chaos around blood in urine:
A number of theories surround the phenomenon of finding blood in urine. There are new researches and update every day in the field of medical science. The severity of damage to the body varies and so does the colour of blood in the urine. Cases where the urine turns slightly reddish brown to almost completely red have been reported. While some indicate a malignant form of cancer, the others indicate varying infections in other organs. The symptoms and manifestations could look similar and rater deceptive, but the causes could be completely different. Thus, a thorough examination and diagnosis of the condition could help in deciphering the exact cause better. Yes, cancer of the bladder can cause blood in the urine. But, it must be remembered that the blood could also be a result of tumors in surrounding areas, infections to the urinary tract, sickle cell anaemia, kidney stones, infection of the urinary tract or the urinary bladder, and many other reasons besides these. Your doctor is the only one who can help you out and confirm the presence of cancer. Once diagnosed, treatment must begin immediately. Sometimes, kidney cancer too could cause blood to accompany the urine on its way out. Any such abnormality, change in colour, or unaccountable presence of RBCs indicates that something is wrong somewhere in the body. Sometimes, the blood is accompanied by a lot of pain. This pain could radiate from the abdominal region up to the ribs. Irrespective of the type of cancer and severity of symptoms, on noticing such signs, they must be reported immediately for quick action and lesser response time.
Tackling with care:
Bladder cancer is known to lead to infections where blood in the urine is not uncommon. Proper investigations ought to rule out the presence or absence of the condition. It is imperative to do a thorough follow up even after the treatment and cure. Prevention of recurrence and being aware of the symptoms go a long way in handling issues related to haematuria. Following treatment, medication, diet and lifestyle ought to be strict and monitored. A good health care routine establishes better results, as does handling yourself during and after the treatment. Vest trust in your doctor and the investigation, and follow the advice thoroughly for a seamless treatment. Cure or no cure, leave that to the doctor to decide. He will ensure he minimizes the adverse affects caused by the ailment. Panic worsens the situation and at this stage it is best to stay calm and composed, and rule out the possibilities of other secondary or tertiary infections and for this, a doctor’s expert advice can be extremely vital and crucial.