Bladder Cancer Diagnosis
A procedure called a cystoscopy is usually used to diagnose bladder cancer. During a cystoscopy, the physician (a urologist) inserts a thin, lighted tube (cystoscope) into the bladder through the urethra to examine the internal lining of the bladder. The procedure enables the urologist to remove small samples of any abnormal appearing areas of the bladder and examine them under the microscope. When bladder cancer is diagnosed, the urologist will want to learn the extent of the cancer, as well as how aggressive it is.
It might be necessary to perform additional tests such as:
- Computerized tomography (CT) scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- An intravenous pyelogram (IVP), a procedure which involves the injection of dye into the blood. When the dye (contrast) travels through the kidneys and ureters, it allows them to be visualized with X-rays (fluoroscopy).
Bladder Cancer Stages
When bladder cancer is diagnosed, your WellStar physicianwill categorize it by the current stage: Stage I, Stage II, Stage II or Stage IV. Each stage describes how large the tumor is and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. You should talk to your WellStar physician to understand each stage, and what it means for your treatment plan.