Finding blood in the urine should be enough to get your attention. But doctors find it’s not always enough to get people to take action.
“If you have blood in the urine, it’s not normal. Even if it clears the next day, it’s not normal. You should be checked because I’ve seen countless number of tumors that could be discovered 3, 6 months a year or 2 years earlier,” says Dr. Alejandro Miranda- Sousa, urologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.
The medical term is hematuria and there are two kinds: microscopic and gross. Either can be a symptom of cancer. Which is why doctors attempt to rule that out first.
“The microscopic, meaning you cannot see blood in the urine, the chances of having something bad, malignant is around 5%. When you see blood it’s around 10%,” says Dr. Miranda- Sousa.
Blood in the urine may be a warning sign for several conditions.
“Urinary stones could cause bleeding, some times very dramatic bleeding. One of the common things we see is infections. If you’re involved in a car accident or playing sports you can have blood in the urine,” says Dr. Miranda- Sousa.
To clarify the source, doctors search the entire urinary tract, using ct scans for the upper and a lighted scope for the lower tract.
“We can find any polyps, any tumors, any stones, anything that could explain the blood,” says Dr. Miranda- Sousa.
If a thorough screening doesn’t turn up the cause, the protocol is to look again in six months. Checking out blood in the urine, means leaving no stone unturned.