Bladder Cancer Symptoms in Women

Though bladder cancer most frequently occurs in men, women can also develop symptoms of this form of cancer 34. Unfortunately, women frequently ignore or dismiss bladder cancer symptoms assuming they are caused by a less serious medical issue, such as a urinary tract infection 3. As a result, bladder cancer symptoms in women are often not recognized until the cancer progresses to a more advanced stage, warn health professionals with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network 3.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Frequent Urination

The bladder is a small sac that holds and stores urine until it is excreted out of the body through the urethra. The majority of bladder cancers occur when irregular, cancerous cells begin to grow along the internal lining of the bladder. Cancerous cell growth in the bladder can inflame and irritate this organ, leading to increased urinary sensations. As a result, women with bladder cancer can experience frequent urges to urinate, explains the BBC News Service 3. Affected women can also notice that they are unable to produce urine, despite an urgent need to urinate. These bladder cancer symptoms in women can be irritating and uncomfortable and can become worse if appropriate treatment is not received 13.

Painful Urination

Inflammation of the bladder can result in painful urination in women with bladder cancer, report medical experts with the MD Anderson Cancer Center 13. Affected women can develop a burning sensation when passing urine. Sensations of pain during urination can also be signs of alternate medical problems, such as a sexually transmitted infection. Women who experience pain during urination should consult a physician for further treatment and care.


Cancerous cell growth within the bladder can damage the lining of this organ. When this occurs, red blood cells from the interior bladder wall can accumulate within stored urine. As a result, women with bladder cancer can excrete small amounts of blood within their urine--a symptom called hematuria, according to health professionals with the University of Tennessee Medical Center 234. Blood in the urine can cause the urine to appear unusually dark, red or rusty in color. Women who notice blood within their urine should not ignore this bladder cancer symptom 3.