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Bladder Cancer Diagnosis

Before you start any treatment, it’s vital that your doctor has a clear and complete understanding of what’s causing your symptoms.

Our doctors evaluate hundreds of people with bladder cancer each year and are constantly looking for ways to improve how doctors diagnose the disease. When making a diagnosis, our experts will take the time to learn about your medical history and understand your overall health. We will likely need to run urine tests and do a cytoscopy — a procedure that allows your doctor to obtain a tissue sample for biopsy.

Imaging tests are also important for confirming the diagnosis and determining which stage of cancer you have. Imaging tests we may suggest include the following:

  • CT scans, which obtain cross-sectional pictures of the body and can determine whether the cancer cells are confined to the bladder or have spread to other areas
  • MRI, which can help in determining whether the cancer has invaded the muscle in the bladder wall, and if so, how deeply
  • PET scans, which capture images that enable your doctor to distinguish between living and dead tissue, to determine whether it’s normal or cancerous