Bladder and kidney cancer present with similar symptoms and are diagnosed via the same pathway. However, diagnosis of these cancers can be challenging, especially kidney cancer, where many of the symptoms are non-specific and around half of all patients are diagnosed incidentally when under investigation for an unrelated condition. Most of these two cancers are diagnosed following a referral from a GP.
The following article summarises current UK and United States (US) guidelines for investigating the common symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer, such as blood in the urine (haematuria, visible and non-visible) and urinary tract infections. The article aims to support clinicians in recognising and investigating patients with symptoms of possible bladder and kidney cancer in a timely fashion, and discusses the challenges faced during the diagnostic process and suggests possible improvements.