Diagnosis

Bladder Cancer Diagnosis

Symptoms of bladder cancer can include blood in the urine, painful urination and frequent urination.  These symptoms can also be caused by infections, benign tumors, bladder stones and other problems.

If a patient has symptoms of bladder cancer, a doctor may perform one or more of the following procedures: 

  • Physical Exam - A doctor examines the abdomen and pelvis for tumors. The physical exam may also include a rectal or vaginal exam. 
  • Urine Test - Samples of urine are checked for blood, cancer cells, and other signs of disease. 
  • Intravenous Pyelogram - Dye is injected into a blood vessel and collects in the urine, which then shows up on x-rays. 
  • Cystoscopy - A doctor uses a cystoscope, a thin tube with a light, to look directly into the bladder and examine the lining. Anesthesia may be used for this procedure. 
  • Biopsy - A doctor can remove tissue samples with the cystoscope. A pathologist then examines the tissue under a microscope. In a lot of cases, a biopsy is the only sure way to tell whether cancer is present. 
In a small number of cases, the doctor removes the entire cancerous area during the biopsy. For these patients, bladder cancer is diagnosed and treated in a single procedure.

Once the results from the test or procedure are returned you will be able to make thoughtful decisions. Please see Newly Diagnosed  for information on being patient active, treatment decisions, partnering with your healthcare team and finding support. 

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is difficult. Please see Caregivers and/or Online Support for more information on how the Cancer Support Community can offer support.

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