Posted on: 18 May 2015
The common signs for bladder cancer include painful urination, frequent urination and presence of blood in the urine. However, these signs are not concrete evidence of bladder cancer as they may be affiliated to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney infections, prostate cancer and other ailments. To ascertain whether or not you have bladder cancer, you'll have to go through various diagnosis steps. Read all about them below.
First, your physician will take you through a consultation. This will enable them to understand your symptoms better. It will also give your GP a chance to try and see if your symptoms are attached to other ailments such as pregnancy (for women), STIs or UTIs. Your physician will ask about your, diet, medical history and exposure to tobacco and industrial chemicals. These are known to contribute to bladder cancer. If you've been diagnosed with any form of cancer before, this increases the probability that you could have bladder cancer.
First, your physician will undertake some physical tests to try and feel for any present tumors in your bladder. This is done through a rectal exam. In women, a pelvic exam will be conducted too. If you've spotted blood in your urine, a blood test may be undertaken to see if you may have a kidney infection that is unrelated to your bladder.
Next, you'll need to do a urine test. This is meant to look for blood cells. An abnormal amount of blood cells is a positive indicator of bladder cancer. Your urine will also be checked for cancer cells. In some cases, your bladder may be washed through application of salt water. The water may then be checked for the same.
If the tests so far have not ruled out the probability of you having bladder cancer, a cystoscopy will be done. A thin rubber tube with a lens (cystoscope) is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. This process enables your physician to examine your bladder and look for any tumors.
While undergoing a cystoscopy, or thereafter, your physician will obtain a tissue sample from the tumor or bladder. This is done by inserting a thin thread tube into the bladder. The sample is then examined to ascertain if it's cancerous or not.
Your physician may also need to carry out some imaging tests. This may include X-rays, MRIs, CT scans or ultrasounds. Imaging is mostly done so as to study the degree of the cancer spread. Your doctor will want to know what stage your cancer is in. This will enable them to plan the best treatment process.
If you have bladder cancer, your doctor will start a treatment plan. This will involve removal of the tumor and application of medication into the bladder. For advanced tumors, chemotherapy and radiation treatment may be required too.Share