how do you test for bladder cancer

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Tests and procedures used to diagnose bladder cancer may include:
  1. Using a scope to examine the inside of your bladder (cystoscopy). …
  2. Removing a sample of tissue for testing (biopsy). …
  3. Examining a urine sample (urine cytology). …
  4. Imaging tests.
May 17, 2021

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Tests for Bladder Cancer Medical history and physical exam. Your doctor will want to get your medical history to learn more about your symptoms. Urine lab tests. This is a simple lab test to check for blood and other substances in a sample of …

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Can bladder cancer be detected with a urine test?

Urinalysis can help find some bladder cancers early, but it has not been shown to be useful as a routine screening test. Urine cytology: In this test, a microscope is used to look for cancer cells in urine. Urine cytology does find some cancers, but it’s not reliable enough to make a good screening test.

What is usually the first symptom of bladder cancer?

In most cases, blood in the urine (called hematuria) is the first sign of bladder cancer. There may be enough blood to change the color of the urine to orange, pink, or, less often, dark red.

What are the warning signs of bladder cancer?

Bladder Cancer: Symptoms and SignsBlood or blood clots in the urine.Pain or burning sensation during urination.Frequent urination.Feeling the need to urinate many times throughout the night.Feeling the need to urinate, but not being able to pass urine.Lower back pain on 1 side of the body.

How bladder cancer is diagnosed?

Cystoscopy. Cystoscopy is the key diagnostic procedure for bladder cancer. It allows the doctor to see inside the body with a thin, lighted, flexible tube called a cystoscope. Flexible cystoscopy is performed in a doctor’s office and does not require anesthesia, which is medication that blocks the awareness of pain.

Can CT scan detect bladder cancer?

A CT scan uses X-rays and a computer to create three-dimensional, cross-sectional pictures of the bladder, as well as the ureters and kidneys. A CT scan may be used to see whether bladder cancer has invaded the bladder wall or has spread to other organs or nearby lymph nodes.

Does bladder cancer feel like a UTI?

Bladder cancer can be mistaken for a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) because many of the symptoms overlap. Patients may experience increased frequency and urgency of urination, pain with urination, or urinary incontinence.

What is the main cause of bladder cancer?

Smoking. Smoking is the single biggest risk factor for bladder cancer. This is because tobacco contains cancer-causing (carcinogenic) chemicals. If you smoke for many years, these chemicals pass into your bloodstream and are filtered by the kidneys into your urine.

Is bladder cancer curable if caught early?

What are the most common treatments for bladder cancer? Bladder cancer is highly treatable when it is diagnosed in the early stages.

Does bladder cancer spread fast?

They tend to grow and spread slowly. High-grade bladder cancers look less like normal bladder cells. These cancers are more likely to grow and spread.

Is there pain with bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer can cause changes in urination. You might experience pain or a burning sensation when you urinate, and you may see blood in your urine. You may also feel: an urge to urinate more frequently than you used to.

What age does bladder cancer occur?

Bladder cancer occurs mainly in older people. About 9 out of 10 people with this cancer are over the age of 55. The average age of people when they are diagnosed is 73. Overall, the chance men will develop this cancer during their life is about 1 in 27.

Is bladder cancer usually fatal?

The general 5-year survival rate for people with bladder cancer is 77%. However, survival rates depend on many factors, including the type and stage of bladder cancer that is diagnosed. The 5-year survival rate of people with bladder cancer that has not spread beyond the inner layer of the bladder wall is 96%.

Medical History and Physical Exam

Your doctor will want to get your medical history to learn more about your symptoms. The doctor might also ask about possible risk factors, includi…

Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor (TURBT)

If an abnormal area (or areas) is seen during a cystoscopy, it will be biopsied to see if it is cancer. A biopsy is the removal of small samples of…

Biopsies to Look For Cancer Spread

If imaging tests suggest the cancer might have spread outside of the bladder, a biopsy might be needed to be sure.In some cases, biopsy samples of…

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What imaging is used to see the bladder?

Imaging such as an ultrasound, X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to view detailed images of the bladder.

Is Moffitt Cancer Center a urologic oncology center?

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we’re here to help. Our Urologic Oncology Program includes highly experienced physicians from multiple specialties who focus solely on diagnosing and treating bladder cancer. Whether you need diagnostic testing, a second opinion or comprehensive treatment and supportive care, our team can provide all the services you need under one roof. Moffitt also stands at the forefront of cancer research, offering a robust clinical trial program that allows eligible patients to receive the latest breakthroughs in bladder cancer treatment before they are made widely available.

Detection and Diagnosis

Finding cancer early, when it’s small and hasn’t spread, often allows for more treatment options. Some early cancers may have signs and symptoms that can be noticed, but that’s not always the case.

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Stages and Outlook (Prognosis)

After a cancer diagnosis, staging provides important information about the extent (amount) of cancer in the body and the likely response to treatment.

Questions to Ask About Bladder Cancer

Here are some questions you can ask your cancer care team to help you better understand your cancer diagnosis and treatment options.

What tests can be done to determine if you have bladder cancer?

Tests may include: CT scan.

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How to diagnose bladder cancer?

Tests and procedures used to diagnose bladder cancer may include: Using a scope to examine the inside of your bladder (cystoscopy). To perform cystoscopy, your doctor inserts a small , narrow tube (cystoscope) through your urethra. The cystoscope has a lens that allows your doctor to see the inside of your urethra and bladder, …

What is a cystoscope?

Cystoscopy allows your doctor to view your lower urinary tract to look for abnormalities, such as a bladder stone. Surgical tools can be passed through the cystoscope to treat certain urinary tract conditions.

What is retrograde pyelogram?

Retrograde pyelogram is an X-ray exam used to get a detailed look at the upper urinary tract. During this test, your doctor threads a thin tube (catheter) through your urethra and into your bladder to inject contrast dye into your ureters. The dye then flows into your kidneys while X-ray images are captured.

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How to get a follow up on bladder cancer?

Get a schedule of follow-up tests and go to each appointment. When you finish bladder cancer treatment, ask your doctor to create a personalized schedule of follow- up tests. Before each follow-up cystoscopy exam, expect to have some anxiety. You may fear that cancer has come back or worry about the uncomfortable exam.

How does radiation therapy help bladder cancer?

Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses beams of powerful energy, such as X-rays and protons, to destroy the cancer cells. Radiation therapy for bladder cancer usually is delivered from a machine that moves around your body, directing the energy beams to precise points.

What is the procedure called when you remove a sample of tissue for testing?

Removing a sample of tissue for testing (biopsy). During cystoscopy, your doctor may pass a special tool through the scope and into your bladder to collect a cell sample (biopsy) for testing. This procedure is sometimes called transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT). TURBT can also be used to treat bladder cancer.

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What tests are done to diagnose bladder cancer?

Tests to diagnose bladder cancer. If bladder cancer is suspected, these tests may be performed to diagnose the disease: Physical exam. Blood test: Blood samples are used to measure certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body.

What is the best test to confirm bladder cancer?

Cystoscopy is best used in combination with other tests to confirm early-stage or small tumors. Biopsy: The removal of a small tissue sample for review under a microscope. This procedure is usually performed only if the tests above suggest bladder cancer.

What is the stage of bladder cancer?

The stage of bladder cancer is the most important factor in determining your treatment plan. These stages — or categories — are based on the size and spread of cancer beyond the bladder and into other places in the body (metastasis), such as the lymph nodes, blood, or other organs.

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What percentage of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma?

Transitional cell: About 90 percent of bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas, which means the cancer began in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. Cancer that is confined to the lining of the bladder is called non-invasive bladder cancer.

What is the difference between stage 2 and stage 3 bladder cancer?

This stage generally means the cancer is muscle-invasive and localized to the bladder. Stage III indicates that the cancer has spread from the bladder wall to the muscle , as well to the fatty layer of tissue surrounding it.

Where is Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology?

Beginning with your first appointment at the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), you will be matched with specialists and researchers who study genitourinary cancers exclusively. We are home to the largest team of genitourinary specialists in the world, and are one of the few clinical centers globally with a team focused on genitourinary cancers. Our team is at the forefront of bladder cancer research, educating and improving the understanding of bladder cancer worldwide.

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Where does bladder cancer start?

Invasive bladder cancer begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder, which proceed to invade the muscle wall (muscle-invasive) of the bladder or spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes (metastasized). Early-stage bladder cancer rarely grows into the muscular wall of the bladder, and rarely spreads.

What is the best test for bladder cancer?

Several types of urine test have an important role in the overall process of diagnosing bladder cancer. Among these tests, urine cytology and urine tumor marker tests are used to detect the presence or absence of bladder cancer. Urine cytology has been used to assist bladder cancer diagnosis for over 75 years and has well-established strengths and limitations which are discussed in more detail below. Molecular tumor marker tests such as Cxbladder have been more recently developed, and provide high diagnostic accuracy in both detection and rule-out.

How to collect urine samples?

Urine samples are usually obtained by spontaneous voiding, using the clean-catch, midstream urine collection method. This involves voiding the first portion of urine into the toilet, collecting the midstream portion into a clean container, then voiding the remaining portion into the toilet. This method greatly reduces the risk of contaminants entering the sample. Less commonly, an invasive method of urine collection, such as placement of a urinary catheter, may be required.

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What does it mean when you have abnormal urine?

Abnormal findings in a urine test can be characteristic of certain disease processes. For instance, persistently elevated protein in urine is a common early sign of chronic kidney disease, high levels of glucose may indicate diabetes, the detection of bacteria is often associated with a UTI, and the presence of red blood cells or abnormal cells may indicate bladder cancer.

What is the test used to detect RNA in urine?

In recent years there has been increasing use of molecular diagnostic tests to detect specific proteins or nucleic acids (RNA or DNA) in urine to diagnose diseases such as UTIs, prostatitis, or bladder cancer. Cxbladder, for example, measures the urine concentration of messenger RNA (mRNA) expressed by five biomarker genes to determine the presence or absence of bladder cancer.

What are the physical properties of urine?

Urine samples are routinely examined for physical properties (e.g., color, clarity, odor, density), chemical composition (e.g., pH, protein, glucose; commonly determined by a simple dipstick test) and microscopic appearance (e.g., the presence of cells, crystals, or bacteria). To detect bacteria, urine culture may also be performed, as described later.

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How to contact CXbladder?

Contact us by phone or email, or fill out an online form and a Cxbladder representative will get back to you.

How long does it take to collect urine?

However, depending on the purpose of the test, certain urine voids of the day (e.g., the first or second void) may be preferred. Collection of urine from all voids over a defined time period (usually over 8 or 24 hours) or sample collection at specific times after eating may also be necessary.

What is the purpose of a bladder cancer screening test?

Tests are used to screen for different types of cancer when a person does not have symptoms. There is no standard or routine screening test for bladder cancer. Hematuria tests have been studied as a way to screen for bladder cancer. Two tests may be used to screen for bladder cancer in patients who have had bladder cancer in the past:

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What is bladder cancer?

Bladder and other urothelial cancers are diseases in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the urothelium.

What is hematuria test?

Hematuria tests have been studied as a way to screen for bladder cancer. Hematuria ( red blood cells in the urine) may be caused by cancer or by other conditions. A hematuria test is used to check for blood in a sample of urine by viewing it under a microscope or using a special test strip.

What is the name of the tube that holds urine?

The urine passes from each kidney through a long tube called a ureter into the bladder. The bladder holds the urine until it passes through the urethra and leaves the body. The urothelium is a layer of tissue that lines the urethra, bladder, ureters, prostate, and renal pelvis.

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Where is the bladder located?

The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower part of the abdomen. It is shaped like a small balloon and has a muscle wall that allows it to get larger or smaller to store urine made by the kidneys. There are two kidneys, one on each side of the backbone, above the waist.

Which type of cancer begins in the innermost layer of the bladder urothelium?

These cancers are named for the type of cells that become malignant (cancerous): Transitional cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in cells in the innermost layer of the bladder urothelium. These cells are able to stretch when the bladder is full and shrink when it is emptied.

Why do scientists do screening tests?

Scientists study screening tests to find those with the fewest harms and most benefits. Cancer screening trials also are meant to show whether early detection (finding cancer before it causes symptoms) helps a person live longer or decreases a person’s chance of dying from the disease. For some types of cancer, the chance of recovery is better if the disease is found and treated at an early stage.

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What tests are done to check for bladder cancer?

This might include a rectal exam, during which a gloved finger is put into your rectum. If you are a woman, a pelvic exam might also be done.

What is the best test to find out if you have bladder cancer?

Ultrasound: This test uses sound waves to make pictures of the organs inside your body, like your bladder and kidneys. It can help show the size of a bladder cancer and if it has spread. Bone scan: A bone scan can help show if bladder cancer has spread to the bones. This test is not done unless you have bone pain.

How do you know if you have bladder cancer?

Signs of bladder cancer are problems peeing, pain when peeing, needing to go more often than normal, and seeing blood in your urine

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What is urine test?

Urine tests: For these tests, you’ll be asked to pee in a cup. Your urine is then tested for cancer cells, blood, or certain proteins (called tumor markers).

What is the blue light on a cystoscopy?

Blue light cystoscopy: Sometimes, special drugs are put into the bladder during the exam. Cancer cells soak up these drugs and then glow when the doctor shines a blue light through the scope. This can help the doctor see cancer cells that might have been missed with the normal light.

Why do you need a cystoscope?

More than one sample may be taken because sometimes cancer starts in more than one part of the bladder. Salt water washings of the inside of your bladder may also be collected to look for cancer cells.

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Where does urine go when you pee?

Urine flows through the ureters and into your bladder, where it’s stored. When you urinate (pee), the bladder squeezes the urine out through a tube called the urethra. Bladder cancer usually starts in the lining or inner layer of the bladder wall.

What is a cystoscopy?

A cystoscopy is a test to check the health of your urethra and bladder. You might also hear it called a cystourethroscopy or, more simply, a bladder scope. It’s an outpatient test, which means you can get it at your doctor’s office, a hospital, or clinic and go home the same day. The doctor inserts a tube into your urethra.

How does a cystoscope work?

The cystoscope has a lens on the end that works like a telescope. It makes it easier for the doctor to see inside your body. They might put a video camera over the lens to project images onto a screen. The doctor fills your bladder. They put water or saline in through the cystoscope.

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What happens when your bladder is full?

When your bladder is full of water, it stretches. This lets the doctor see your entire bladder wall. They’ll ask you how it feels when it’s full. The doctor takes tissue samples. If an area looks abnormal, the doctor will use the cystoscope to cut a small piece that they can send to the lab for analysis.

Where is the urethra tube?

The doctor inserts a tube into your urethra. If you’re a man, the opening is at the end of your penis. If you’re a woman, it’s just above your vagina. The test lets your doctor check the complete length of your urethra and the bladder for polyps, narrow areas called strictures, abnormal growths, and other problems.

What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?

Being unable to urinate. Lower back pain on one side. Loss of appetite and weight loss. Feeling tired or weak. Swelling in the feet. Bone pain. Again, many of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by something other than bladder cancer, but it’s important to have them checked.

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Why is bladder cancer so early?

Bladder cancer can often be found early because it causes blood in the urine or other urinary symptoms that cause a person to see a health care provider.

Why does urine have blood in it?

More often it’s caused by other things like an infection, benign (not cancer) tumors, stones in the kidney or bladder, or other benign kidney diseases. Still, it’s important to have it checked by a doctor so the cause can be found.

How long does urine stay clear after bladder cancer?

Blood may be present one day and absent the next, with the urine remaining clear for weeks or even months. But if a person has bladder cancer, at some point the blood reappears.

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Can bladder cancer cause a change in urination?

Bladder cancer can sometimes cause changes in urination, such as: Having to urinate more often than usual. Pain or burning during urination. Feeling as if you need to go right away, even when your bladder isn’t full. Having trouble urinating or having a weak urine stream.

Diagnosis

  • Diagnosing bladder cancer
    Tests and procedures used to diagnose bladder cancer may include: 1. Using a scope to examine the inside of your bladder (cystoscopy).To perform cystoscopy, your doctor inserts a small, narrow tube (cystoscope) through your urethra. The cystoscope has a lens that allows your doct…
  • Determining the extent of the cancer
    After confirming that you have bladder cancer, your doctor may recommend additional tests to determine whether your cancer has spread to your lymph nodes or to other areas of your body. Tests may include: 1. CTscan 2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 3. Positron emission tomog…

See more on mayoclinic.org

Treatment

  • Treatment options for bladder cancer depend on a number of factors, including the type of cancer, grade of the cancer and stage of the cancer, which are taken into consideration along with your overall health and your treatment preferences. Bladder cancer treatment may include: 1. Surgery,to remove the cancer cells 2. Chemotherapy in the bladder (intravesical chemotherapy),t…

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Clinical Trials

  • Explore Mayo Clinic studiestesting new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this condition.

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Coping and Support

  • Living with the concern that your bladder cancer may recur can leave you feeling as if you have little control over your future. But while there’s no way to ensure that your bladder cancer won’t recur, you can take steps to manage the stress. Over time you’ll find what works for you, but until then, you might: 1. Get a schedule of follow-up tests and go to each appointment.When you finis…

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Preparing For Your Appointment

  • Start by seeing your family doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you, such as blood in your urine. Your doctor may suggest tests and procedures to investigate your signs and symptoms. If your doctor suspects that you may have bladder cancer, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating diseases and conditions of the urinary tract (urologist). In so…

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