There are a few ways for a physician to test for bladder cancer. Diagnosis usually begins when a patient seeks medical attention for unusual symptoms, which can include blood in the urine or frequently feeling the need to urinate even when the bladder is empty.
After evaluating symptoms, a physician may want to order a series of tests to gain a clearer picture of the patient’s condition. These tests often include:
- Urinalysis to observe the levels of protein, sugar and red and white blood cells in the urine, which can signal the possibility of cancer.
- Urine cytology to look for abnormal cells in the urine under a microscope.
- Imaging such as an ultrasound, X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to view detailed images of the bladder.
- Cystoscopy to closely examine the bladder and remove a small piece of abnormal tissue for biopsy, if necessary, using a thin instrument with a lens. This minimally invasive procedure is known as transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT).
What to do after a bladder cancer diagnosis
Receiving a bladder cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. 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.