Caring for the Patient With Cancer at Home

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Blood in urine

Blood can be seen in the urine (pee) when a patient is bleeding in some part of their kidneys or bladder, or in the tubes that carry urine. The blood is being flushed out along with the urine. Bleeding can be caused by infection, injury, tumors, or stones that are in the kidneys, tubes, or bladder. It can also be due to a low platelet count. (For more information on low platelet counts, see the section called “Bleeding or low platelet count.”)

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 you’ve been told to limit the amount you 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 cancer team if the patient:

  • Sees bloody urine (red, pink, or brown)
  • Has pain in lower back or on lower sides of the back
  • Has 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: 06/08/2015
Last Revised: 06/08/2015