Tests for diagnosing bladder cancer and its spread

There are a multitude of tests that are available for finding cancer in Ohio patients and for seeing where if and where it has spread. No test is accurate enough, though, to be able to screen the general population for bladder cancer, so many are diagnosed with it only after they experience symptoms.

For example, patients may detect blood in their urine, in which case they will undergo a urine test. Doctors will check the urine for tumor cells. Patients may also undergo cystoscopy where doctors inspect the bladder with a thin, lighted, flexible tube. No anesthesia is necessary for this procedure.

If abnormal tissue is found during the cystoscopy, doctors will probably want to remove some of that tissue along with a sample of the bladder muscle for closer examination. To take the biopsy, doctors may have a urologist perform a surgical procedure called transurethral resection of bladder tumor. This can be used to diagnose the type of cancer, its stage of development and the presence of any cancerous changes called carcinoma in situ.

Imaging tests are used to determine if cancer has spread and where. Perhaps the most common is the CT scan where X-rays from various angles create a 3-D picture of the inside of the body. A computer can then identify tumors and any enlarged lymph nodes, which may indicate the cancer has spread.

Doctors are human, and tests are not always 100 percent conclusive, so there is always the chance of a misdiagnosis. Those who believe they were harmed through such errors may be covered for their medical expenses and other losses through a successful medical malpractice claim filed with the assistance of an attorney.

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