Oncology (General Cancer)/Blood in urine and terrified

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QUESTION: I just had a routine urine test and culture which showed blood in urine at 2+. Does blood mean bladder cancer? I am so scared I can't function. That was the only thing abnormal about my test. I am 46 and in menopause so it's not menstruation blood. Like I said I'm terrified I'm going to have cancer. Hope you can offer some insight. I have no pain but I do feel like I have to urinate often and only a small amount comes out. Thank you.

ANSWER: Something is obviously wrong with your urinary tract.  This might mean anything from the kidney to the urethra.  If you feel the urge and can't really pass very much, you may have cystitis, which is an infected bladder.  Bladder cancer is a possibility, more common in smokers and men than in women.  If you have it, 70% of the time it is "superficial" and can be managed, even cured, without major surgery.  I suspect, though, that your problem is not cancer.  I urge you to see a urologist to study this further.  And don't be so "afraid that you can't function".  You will immediately feel better once you know what is going on, regardless of what it is.  Once you know, you can begin dealing with it.  Hope this helps.  By the way, there are types of cystitis that may not show up in a culture.  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your response.  My primary doctor is doing another urine test at end of April and we will go from there.  Im just so scared.  I have three kids and I want to be around for them.  I dont have a history of UTIs.  Does menopause cause blood in urine?  Since my urine is clear when I urinate, is it worse that it can only be seen under a microscope?  I will see a urologist if my test comes back with blood again.  In the meantime, Im not coping well and am convinced I have cancer.  Just to clarify, having blood in urine does not always mean cancer?  Thank you.

Answer
Having blood in the urine usually doesn't mean cancer.  In a perimenopausal woman, the likelihood of a bladder infection increases.  Blood only visible under a microscope isn't  as serious as blood that can be seen.  Sometimes it's best for you to see a urologist just to ease your mind, rather than wait a while.  I still doubt you have cancer, but you need to get checked out.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.

Expertise

I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.

Experience

I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

Organizations
American Society of Clinical Oncology

Publications
New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

Education/Credentials
MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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