Is blood in your urine cause for concern?

blood_urine

Oh, yes!  This was my very first indication that I had kidney cancer.  Here’s part of my story…

From https://cushingsbios.com/2016/05/09/maryo-10-years-cancer-free/

April 28 2006 I picked up my husband for a biopsy and took him to an outpatient surgical center. While I was there waiting for the biopsy to be completed, I started noticing blood in my urine and major abdominal cramps. I left messages for several of my doctors on what I should do. I finally decided to see my PCP after I got my husband home.
When Tom was done with his testing, his doctor took one look at me and asked if I wanted an ambulance. I said no, that I thought I could make it to the emergency room ok – Tom couldn’t drive because of the anesthesia they had given him. I barely made it to the ER and left the car with Tom to park. Tom’s doctor followed us to the ER and became my new doctor.

 

The News Item that inspired this post:

The sight of blood in your urine is enough to make anyone panic. It doesn’t always indicate a serious problem, but it’s important you get it checked out with your doctor.

Blood in the urine is known as hematuria. There are two forms of hematuria:

Gross hematuria – This is when you can see blood in the urine. The urine may look pink, red, or cola-colored due to the presence of red blood cells (RBCs). Most of the time, other than the change in appearance in urine, most people do not have other symptoms.

Microscopic hematuria – This is when you cannot see blood in the urine but it can be detected when examined under a microscope. Most people with microscopic hematuria have no symptoms.

Causes of blood in the urine:
When a person has hematuria, the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract allow blood cells to leak into the urine. Anyone, including children, can be at risk for blood in the urine, and it can occur as a result of many common conditions. Some of those include:

Menstruation
Vigorous or strenuous exercise
Sexual activity
Urinary tract infection
Kidney infection
Kidney or bladder stones
Injury
Family history of kidney disease

More serious problems that could be causing blood in your urine might be:

Kidney or bladder cancer
Polycystic kidney disease
Irritation or swelling in the kidney, prostate in men, or another part of the urinary tract
Blood clots
Sickle cell disease
Enlarged prostate
Medications – the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and penicillin can cause urinary bleeding.

Diagnosing hematuria
Hematuria is diagnosed with a urine sample called a urinalysis. The urine sample is collected in a special container at a doctor’s office and usually tested in a lab for analysis. The lab technician places a strip of chemically treated paper called a dipstick in the urine. If RBCs are present, patches on the dipstick change color. When RBCs are noted, then the urine is further examined under a microscope to make the diagnosis of hematuria.

Depending on the circumstances, the doctor may order further testing such as a urinalysis, blood test, biopsy, cystoscopy, or a kidney imaging test.

Treating hematuria
Hematuria is treated by addressing its underlying cause. If no serious health problem is detected, no treatment may be necessary. If your hematuria is caused by a urinary tract infection, it will be treated with antibiotics. A urinalysis should be repeated within 6 weeks after antibiotic treatment ends to be sure the infection is gone.
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel’s Medical A-Team and the chief medical correspondent for am970 in New York City. Learn more at roboticoncology.com. Visit Dr. Samadi’s blog at SamadiMD.com. Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter and Facebook.

Read more at http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/06/23/is-blood-in-your-urine-cause-for-concern.html

 

Are There Early Signs of Kidney Cancer?

kidney-cancerKnowing Your Risk

Kidney cancer isn’t as common as breast or lung cancer. For most people, the chance of getting kidney cancer in their lifetime is less than two percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

Your risk increases if you smoke, are obese, or have been exposed to chemicals such as asbestos and benzene. Sometimes kidney cancer can run in families. If you’re at high risk, talk to your doctor and watch out for symptoms.

Hard to Find

When someone has skin cancer, they might see an unusual growth on their skin. For example, breast cancer is often found when a woman discovers a lump in her breast. Because the kidneys are so deep inside the body, it’s harder to find kidney cancer just by looking or feeling for growths.

Searching from the Inside

Imaging tests like computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can spot cancer in the kidneys. Yet these tests are costly, and they often can’t differentiate between kidney cancer and noncancerous growths.

Usually, doctors only recommend CT or MRI scans for people who are at very high risk for kidney cancer because of an inherited condition, like von Hippel-Landau disease.

Warning Signs of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms until the tumor has already grown. The most common symptom is blood in the urine, called hematuria. If the amount of blood is too small to be seen with the naked eye, it can be found on a urine test.

Other Symptoms

Blood in the urine is the main symptom of kidney cancer, but there are other signs too. Other symptoms include:

pain in the side or lower back

symptoms of an infection, such as fever, fatigue, and an overall sick feeling

losing weight without trying

swollen ankles

Many of these symptoms can be caused by other illnesses, like the flu or a back injury. But if these symptoms don’t go away, talk to your doctor.

What Your Doctor Might Find

During an exam, your doctor will look for other symptoms of kidney cancer that you couldn’t find on your own. They might press on your abdomen to check for a lump. Or tests might show high blood pressure or a low red blood cell count (anemia).

Kidney Cancer Tests

Many different tests can detect kidney cancer. Urine tests find traces of blood in the urine. Blood tests search for chemicals that the kidneys are supposed to remove from the body.

CT, MRI, and ultrasound scans create pictures of the kidneys and allow doctors to look for growths that may be cancerous. A biopsy removes a piece of tissue from the kidneys to be examined under a microscope for cancer.

What to Do Next

If you do have kidney cancer, your doctor will find out how advanced it is and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. This is called staging. It helps your doctor determine the right course of treatment for you.

Many different treatments are available for kidney cancer. Radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery can help stop the cancer and improve your long-term outlook.

via Are There Early Signs of Kidney Cancer? | Cancer factsheet.