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Bladder Cancer Staging

Staging helps healthcare providers determine how large or small a tumor is, whether the bladder cancer has spread, and, if so, to what parts of the body. Tests and procedures that may be used when staging bladder cancer include a cystoscopy, a CT scan, an MRI, a chest x-ray, and a bone scan.

Bladder Cancer Staging: An Overview

If a bladder cancer diagnosis is made, the doctor will need to determine the stage, or extent, of the disease in order to plan the best bladder cancer treatment. Staging is an attempt to find out the size of the tumor, whether the disease has spread, and if so, to what parts of the body.
 

Tests Used in Staging Bladder Cancer

Tests and procedures that may be used in bladder cancer staging include:
 
  • Cystoscopy
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Chest x-ray
  • Bone scan.
     
Cystoscopy
A cystoscopy is a procedure that is used to look inside of the bladder and urethra to check for abnormal areas. In order to perform this procedure, a cystoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted through the urethra into the bladder, and tissue samples may be taken for biopsy.
 
Computed Tomography Scan
A computed tomography (CT) scan is a procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body that are taken from different angles. A computer that is linked to an x-ray machine makes these pictures, and a dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly on the x-ray.
 
This procedure is also called computerized tomography or computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan.
 
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
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Bladder Cancer Information

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