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Bladder Cancer Screening

Bladder Cancer Screening Test

At this point, a routine, effective bladder cancer screening test has not yet been developed. However, doctors may recommend that some people take a hematuria (red blood cells in the urine) test to screen for bladder cancer. A hematuria test is used to check for blood in a sample of urine by viewing it under a microscope or using a special test strip. The test may be repeated over time. It is important to note that hematuria may be caused by cancer or by other conditions.
Two tests that may be used to screen for bladder cancer in patients who have had bladder cancer in the past are cystoscopy and urine cytology.
Cystoscopy is a procedure that is used to look inside the bladder and urethra to check for abnormal areas. In order to look inside the bladder and urethra, a cystoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. The surgeon may also remove a tissue sample for a biopsy.
Urine Cytology
Urine cytology is the examination of urine under a microscope to check for abnormal cells.

Bladder Cancer Screening: Summary

Patients who believe that they may be at risk for bladder cancer should talk with their doctor, who can suggest ways to reduce the bladder cancer risk and can plan a schedule for checkups and possible screening.
(Click Bladder Cancer Risk Factors for more information about the risk of developing bladder cancer.)
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