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Answer to your Health Question


Female 59 years

Sudden blood in urine



Dear Maxine,

Blood in the urine should never be ignored. This could be the first sign of a serious condition.

Blood in the urine can present in one of two ways: gross hematuria (blood that you can see in the urine), and microscopic hematuria (blood that is only seen when the urine is examined under a microscope). Both types can have serious causes.

When the blood in the urine is at the beginning of urination, it most likely comes from the urethra, (the tube from the bladder to the outside). Blood throughout urination is most likely from the bladder or kidneys or ureters (the tubes connecting the kidneys and the bladder). Blood at the end of your stream may be from the bladder or prostate (in men).

Causes of blood in the urine vary, from inflammatory conditions to cancers. Urinary tract infections and kidney, bladder, or ureter stones are also frequent causes. Cancer of the urethra, bladder or kidneys also may also show up as blood in the urine.

Blood in the urine in anyone over the age of 40, especially in people who smoke, should warrant full urologic evaluation because the most common cause of blood in the urine in this group of people is bladder cancer.

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