Screening and Diagnosis of Bladder Cancer

The Cancer Institute offers people at risk for bladder cancer with convenient access to comprehensive testing and diagnostic services. We use the most advanced technology available, which may include low-radiation and radiation-free imaging, or minimally invasive or non-invasive diagnostic procedures. Patients can rest assured that Doylestown Health specialists utilize state-of-the-art methods for the earliest detection and most effective treatment possible.

Our cancer care team includes a dedicated urologic cancer patient navigator who assists patients and families with coordinating care and supportive services. Patients have the convenience of scheduling tests close to their home or workplace at Doylestown Hospital or at the Health and Wellness Center in Warrington, PA. 

Bladder Cancer Screening

The primary risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking, and the most common symptom is blood in the urine. Doylestown Health urologists recommend that individuals with a significant history of smoking or other risk factors for bladder cancer schedule an annual urinalysis test. This simple, noninvasive and inexpensive test detects blood in the urine under a microscope and can be conducted in your primary care physician’s or urologist’s office.

When bladder cancer is detected in its early stages, it is highly treatable; however, bladder cancer frequently recurs. For this reason, bladder cancer survivors treated at Doylestown Health are monitored closely and screened frequently for several years after their initial diagnosis and treatment to prevent or minimize recurrence.

Our goal is to offer patients immediate access to comprehensive testing in the communities served by Doylestown Health to promote earlier detection, more accurate diagnoses and timely and effective treatment strategies.

Advanced Imaging and Diagnostic Tests for Bladder Cancer

At Doylestown Health, we provide patients with the latest technology to detect and diagnose bladder cancer. Imaging tests take pictures of the inside of your body to help our urologists, oncologists and pathologists detect cancer and determine treatment options with the greatest potential for success. These tests also provide your doctor with important information to determine if cancer has spread, if treatment is effective or if cancer has recurred after treatment.

Our bladder cancer care team may prescribe one or more of the following diagnostic tests:

  • Biopsy – This test removes cells or tissue from the bladder so they can be viewed by a pathologist under a microscope to check for signs of cancer. A biopsy for bladder cancer is performed through cystoscopy, a special procedure that looks inside the bladder and urethra.

  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan – This procedure takes images of the inside of the body at different angles or slices. The pictures are generated by a computer linked to an X-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or administered orally to make the organs or tissues show up more clearly during the procedure.

  • Cystoscopy – This procedure is considered the “gold standard” for diagnosing bladder cancer. The test is usually performed in your urologist’s office or an outpatient surgery center. During the test, a urologist inserts a slender, fiber-optic instrument into the urethra to look inside the bladder and urethra. A cystoscope has a light and a lens for viewing on a TV monitor. It also has a tool to remove tissue to check cells under a microscope for signs of cancer or other abnormalities. In addition to its use as a screening tool, bladder cancer survivors are screened with this test to prevent recurrence after undergoing treatment.

  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) – This test involves a series of X-rays of the kidneys, ureters and bladder to determine if cancer is present. A contrast dye is injected into a vein and moves through these organs to determine if there are blockages.

  • Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) – This test is similar to a cystoscopy, except a larger tissue sample is removed for testing and it is generally performed at the hospital or in our outpatient surgical center.

  • Urinalysis – This test examines the color of urine and its contents, such as sugar, protein and red and white blood cells.

  • Urine cytology – This test examines urine samples under a microscope for abnormal or free-floating cancer cells. Bladder cancer recurrence is generally detected by this test.

Learn more about the treatment options for bladder cancer at Doylestown Health

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