Bladder cancer is the ninth most common form of cancer. In the United States alone, bladder cancer will affect approximately 80,470 new patients in 2019. Thankfully, doctors will catch many of these cases early.
Early detection boosts the chances that treatment will succeed in patients with bladder cancer, so it's important to seek help from your physician if you think you might have this disease.
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is having blood in your urine, which doctors sometimes call hematuria. However, you may also have symptoms such as pain or burning when urinating, a need to urinate more than usual or trouble urinating.
If you notice any of these concerning symptoms, schedule an appointment with your primary physician right away. Your doctor can provide tests to detect or rule out bladder cancer, which can give you peace of mind and open doors to the treatment you may need.
Let's take a look at the different tests doctors use to accurately detect and diagnose bladder cancer.
Diagnosing and Staging Bladder Cancer
In the early stages of bladder cancer, diagnosis can occur in several ways. Some patients may actively seek help after noticing hematuria, blood in the urine, or other symptoms. Others might present no symptoms but discover signs of bladder cancer during urinalysis as part of a routine medical exam.
Many tests can provide the information needed to confirm or rule out a bladder cancer diagnosis. If your doctor thinks you might have bladder cancer, he or she may use one or more of the following tests:
- Physical examination and medical history: Your doctor will look for, and record, any symptoms or risk factors of bladder cancer that you have. Risk factors of particular interest could include whether or not you have a family history of bladder cancer and whether your occupation has exposed you to any chemicals linked to bladder cancer.
- Urine tests: Your doctor may also use simple, non-invasive urine tests to check for the presence of blood or cancer cells in your urine. Urine tests used to detect or rule out bladder cancer include urinalysis, urine culture and urine cytology, which involves looking for cancer cells under a microscope. All of these tests require a small urine sample for examination.
- Urine molecular diagnostic tests: Your doctor may decide to use a new, urine-based test - such as Cxbladder Detect - to look for genetic material biomarkers in your urine. Levels of these biomarkers show, with high accuracy, your probability of having bladder cancer.
- Ultrasound: This scanning test uses a microphone to bounce sound waves off body structures and get a picture. Ultrasound checks for blockages in the tubes (the ureters) connecting your kidneys and bladder.
- Cystoscopy: In this diagnostic test, a doctor will place a thin tube and camera (cystoscope) into your urethra to see inside your bladder. A tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken from your bladder and then looked at under a microscope to confirm the presence of cancer cells.
- Bladder Cancer Computed tomography (CT) scan: A scanning machine, like an X-ray machine, gets pictures of your upper urinary tract, abdomen and pelvis.
- Intravenous pyelogram (IVP): This test, sometimes called an intravenous urogram, is a general X-ray examination to look at your whole urinary system.
To quickly detect bladder cancer in its early stages, your doctor might recommend Cxbladder. This is an accurate, easy-to-use urine test that helps rule out bladder cancer in patients with hematuria. With one urine sample, Cxbladder can give you confidence, reassurance and peace of mind.
How to Detect Bladder Cancer at Different Stages
The accuracy of different bladder cancer diagnostic tests may depend on the stage of cancer and whether the bladder cancer has spread. Urine cytology, for example, often misses signs of early-stage bladder cancer because these smaller tumors shed fewer cancer cells into the urine.
Starting the Conversation With Your Doctor
If you have hematuria or any other concerning bladder symptoms, it's a good idea to speak to your doctor about tests to detect bladder cancer. Getting tested can give you peace of mind and help you feel confident in the treatment decisions you make with your doctor.
Choosing Cxbladder for Detection
When you discuss testing options, ask your doctor whether Cxbladder could help you rule out bladder cancer. This non-invasive test for bladder cancer is accurate and clinically validated, so you can feel confident in your test results and begin considering treatment options if needed. To learn more about using Cxbladder for cancer detection, contact one of our representatives today.
Diagram of a cystoscopy for a man
Diagram of a cystoscopy for a woman
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