Bladder Cancer

If a patient has symptoms that suggest bladder cancer, the doctor may check general signs of health and may order lab tests. The person may have one or more of the following procedures:

  • Physical exam — The doctor feels the abdomen and pelvis for tumors. The physical exam may include a rectal or vaginal exam.
  • Urine tests — The laboratory checks the urine for blood, cancer cells and other signs of disease.
  • Intravenous Pyelogram — The doctor injects dye into a blood vessel. The dye collects in the urine, making the bladder show up on X-rays.
  • Cystoscopy — The doctor uses a thin, lighted tube, called a cystoscope, to look directly into the bladder. The doctor inserts the cystoscope into the bladder through the urethra to examine the lining of the bladder. The patient usually does not need anesthesia for this procedure.
  • Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.