Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond


What Is Cystitis?

Cystitis is an irritation of the lining of the bladder wall.


  • Urinary frequency
  • Urinary urgency
  • Burning with urination
  • Dysuria (painful urination)
  • Urinary retention (inability to empty the bladder completely when voiding)
  • Hematuria (blood in the urine)
  • Vague abdominal (or suprapubic) pain

Things You Can Do to Reduce Cystitis Symptoms:

  • Void frequently, as soon as you feel the urge to urinate and also before going to bed at night.
  • Increase fluid intake, drink at least 2 quarts of fluid a day to flush your bladder.

Treatments or Medications Your Doctor May Prescribe for Cystitis:

  • Analgesics pain medication
  • Antibiotics if concern of underlying infection or as preventive measure
  • Intravenous fluids to flush metabolites from the bladder
  • Use of Mesna (a compound that protects the bladder lining by binding to the metabolite acrolein in the bladder to form an inactive product that is readily excreted by the bladder).  The use of this does not compromise the antitumor activity of the chemotherapy.

When to Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider:

  • Fever of 100.5° F (38° C) or higher, and or chills (possible signs of infection).
  • Symptoms of bladder irritation: blood in the urine, frequency, difficulty or burning when urinating, pain.
Common Bladder Problems:  Cystitis | Hemorrhagic Cystitis

Note:  We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website about bladder problems and other medical conditions is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice. is designed to provide the latest information about chemotherapy to patients and their families, caregivers and friends. For information about the 4th Angel Mentoring Program visit