Bladder Cancer

How is bladder cancer diagnosed?

Doctors use several tests to diagnose bladder cancer. One common method is a cystoscopy. In this procedure, a small tube with a camera is inserted into the urethra (the duct through which urine leaves the body) and slowly moved into the bladder.

A doctor can then examine the lining and take a sample, called a biopsy. Another method is a urine cytology. This test analyzes a urine sample to see if it contains tumor cells. Doctors also use a variety of imaging tests to examine the urinary tract.

What are the treatments for bladder cancer?

We may recommend surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these. We always want to preserve the urinary and sexual function of people with bladder cancer. Sometimes the bladder needs to be removed. This is called a cystectomy.

When we do this surgery, we can often create a new bladder at the same time. This is called a neobladder. It eliminates the need for a pouch outside the body that collects urine. In addition, there are a growing number of immunotherapy treatments for bladder cancer. These therapies help unleash the immune system’s ability to fight cancer.

The chance of surviving bladder cancer is very good when it is caught early. Treatments also can be effective for bladder cancer that has advanced.