If your health care provider believes you may have bladder cancer, you will need certain exams and tests to be sure.  These tests may occasionally be used in combination to assess for bladder cancer.

In addition to undergoing an examination, you should expect to be asked questions about your health history, your symptoms, risk factors and family history of disease. Understanding your background will help your provider make a diagnosis.

  • X-ray. An X-ray image at the site of the cancer may reveal abnormalities that your health care providers are searching for.
  • Computer tomography (CT) scan. CT scans are most useful for detecting the stage of the cancer being diagnosed. The scan’s results tell your doctor if the cancer has spread to your lungs, liver or other organs.

In this test, your urine may be investigated for abnormal cancer cells using urine cytology or may be examined for abnormal materials in the urine such as blood using urinalysis.

A urologist may insert a small scope into the bladder through the urethra to look for tumors within the bladder.

Following your test, your nurse navigator will inform you when you can expect the results of your imaging test, urine test or cystoscopy. Further management will be recommended at that time.

When you are diagnosed with bladder cancer, it is common to feel a sense of urgency around starting treatment. However, in most cases, there is time to do the necessary research to ensure that your diagnosis is correct. That may include getting a second opinion.

Our team of experts works together to diagnose, treat and prevent bladder cancer, with a focus on individualized patient care.

Markey is among the best cancer centers in the nation when it comes to advanced treatment options, survival rates and experienced providers, according to U.S. News & World Report. Markey has also been recognized by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and has achieved Magnet status, the gold standard for nursing excellence granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program. As the first and only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in Kentucky, Markey is able to care for many patients with rare and common cancers, including bladder cancer.

Our team is happy to work with your doctors and communicate to ensure confidence in your diagnosis.

Should I get a second opinion?

A second opinion can help to ensure that you will be getting the latest and most effective therapy for treating bladder cancer. The following are common reasons for seeking a second opinion after your initial diagnosis:

  • You are having difficulty understanding your diagnosis.
  • A dedicated team specialized in your cancer type may not be available in your area.
  • There may be uncertainty around the stage of bladder cancer.
  • You may want to learn more about different treatment options, including clinical trials and advanced technologies only available at an advanced center like Markey.
  • Your health insurance requires a second opinion before continuing toward treatment.

Questions to ask when getting a second opinion

After receiving a cancer diagnosis, you may have a lot on your mind. Here a few questions to keep in mind for your doctor when arriving for your second opinion:

  • Is there a chance that my medical problem could have a different diagnosis?
  • Are there additional tests I should take before moving forward with treatment?
  • Do you recommend any treatments at this time?
  • What do you expect to happen if I wait or don't have the treatment?
  • What are the side effects of treatment?
  • How long are treatment recovery periods?

For more information, visit these national sources for a variety of additional educational tools and resources:

NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - A Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Markey Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center – a distinction that recognizes our commitment to accelerating precision cancer research and care to patients. We are the first and only NCI-Comprehensive Cancer Center in Kentucky, and one of 57 in the nation.