Blood in urine? Get it checked

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Specimen jar contents of blood in urine in the process of being investigated by a urologist

Professor Mark Frydenberg AM, talks about the importance of seeing your GP and urologist if you notice blood in your urine.

Video Transcript

I’m Mark Frydenberg, one of the urologists at Australian Urology Associates and I wanted to talk to you about a condition called haematuria which is blood in the urine.

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This is in fact an extremely common urinary symptom and is something that is often not associated with serious pathology. Indeed, the most common cause of blood in the urine in both men and women is not serious in that the most common cause in the male is simply a burst blood vessel from their prostate gland and usually the most common cause in a female is from an infection.

Having said that the reason that it’s very important this is investigated is that in a small five to ten percent of patients it can be due to something more serious, and this means a malignancy or a cancer in the kidney or a cancer in the bladder and these absolutely need to be excluded even if there’s only one single episode of bleeding in the urine. As such, bleeding in the urine should never be ignored and should always be presented to your general practitioner, who should refer you on to urologists such as ourselves.

Typically, you will be ordered to have some sort of imaging to look at your kidneys and this would either be in the form of a CT scan or alternatively a urinary tract ultrasound and this is specific specifically done in order to try and rule out a kidney tumour.

In addition to that, you will often have a urine test called the urine cytology as well as a urine culture to rule out an infection. The urine cytology is looking for malignant cells in the urine, so we want to try and determine whether there’s any of these present, which would obviously raise the possibility of a malignancy within the urinary tract.

The last thing that would be recommended is a cystoscopy, which is a very simple telescopic examination of the bladder which is often done under local anaesthesia and can even be done in our offices. The purpose of this is to make sure that we’re not missing a polyp or growth within the bladder that could potentially be malignant and cause harm.

If there are any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to ask the urologist at Australian Urology Associates, and thanks very much for your attention.