The most common tumor types in the bladder cause early symptoms, and the bladder is easily accessible for endoscopic examination and treatment. Ten percent of patients with bladder cancer develop urothelial cancer in other parts of the urinary tract.
Urothelial cancer in the ureter and renal pelvis is not as easy to diagnose, and symptoms may occur later in the disease course. Cancer in this area is therefore often diagnosed at a later stage.
When the tumor is localized in the bladder, the main symptoms are macroscopic hematuria, with or without different types of problems micturition. When the tumor is localized in the upper urinary tracts, colicky pain is the dominating symptom, in addition to hematuria.
When urothelial cancer is advanced, the patient may also have colic pain and symptoms from already existing metastases such as back pain and weakened general health.