Caring for the Patient With Cancer at Home

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Blood in urine

Blood can be seen in the urine when a patient is bleeding in some part of their urinary system and the blood is being flushed out along with the urine. Common causes include urinary tract infections (UTIs), an injury to the urinary tract, kidney or bladder stones, a tumor growing in the urinary tract, or a low platelet count. (For more information on low platelet counts, see the section called “Blood counts.”)

What to look for

  • Red, pink, or tea-colored urine
  • Blood or clots in urine
  • Pain with urination

What the patient can do

  • Drink about 1 quart of water (or other fluids) during each 8-hour period (3 quarts each day), unless your doctor has limited the amount you can drink.
  • Take medicines as prescribed.

What caregivers can do

  • Offer extra fluids.
  • Help the patient check the color of their urine, if needed.

Call the doctor if the patient:

  • Sees blood in the urine or discolored urine
  • Has pain in lower back or on lower sides of back when urinating
  • Has pink, cloudy, or foul-smelling urine
  • Has symptoms that do not improve after treatment
  • Has a sudden, urgent need to urinate
  • Urinates more often than usual
  • Can’t urinate
  • Has a fever of 100.5° F or higher when taken by mouth, or shaking chills
  • Is confused or feels or seems “different” to others

Last Medical Review: 11/05/2013
Last Revised: 11/05/2013