Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, and health and family history. The belly, pelvic, vaginal, and rectal areas will be carefully checked. Testing will help narrow down the cause of the problems.
You may need:
This will look for blood, infection, or other abnormal cells in the urine.
Other tests will be able to tell if the abnormal cells are from the bladder or another area in the urinary system.
Blood tests may find tumor markers in the blood. Markers and certain blood proteins may be higher than normal if there is cancer.
A bladder biopsy is done during cystoscopy. A small scope is passed through the urethra and into the bladder. Contrast agents may be used to make the cancer easier to see. Tissue samples are taken and looked at in a lab. This is the only way to make a diagnosis.
Your test results and new tests will help find the stage of cancer. Staging is used to tell the tumor type. This helps with planning treatment. Staging can tell:
Bladder cancer is staged from 0-4.
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Bladder cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/genitourinary-cancer/bladder-cancer. Updated October 2017. Accessed August 2, 2018.
Bladder cancer diagnosis and staging. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T921922/Bladder-cancer-diagnosis-and-staging. Updated June 26, 2018. Accessed August 2, 2018.
Stages of bladder cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/bladder/patient/about-bladder-cancer-pdq#section/_109. Updated May 3, 2018. Accessed August 2, 2018.
Tests for bladder cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/bladder-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/how-diagnosed.html. Updated May 23, 2018. Accessed August 2, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP Last Updated: 8/2/2018