There's no routine test for bladder cancer. But if you're at high risk or have symptoms, your doctor may first order a urine test. If needed, a procedure called cystoscopy lets your doctor see inside the bladder with a slender lighted tube with a camera on the end. The cystoscope can be used to remove small tissue samples (a biopsy) to be examined under a microscope. A biopsy is the best way to diagnose cancer.
If cancer is found, imaging tests can show whether it has spread beyond the bladder. Anintravenous pyelogram uses dye to outline the kidneys, bladder, and ureters, the tubes that carry urine to the bladder. CT and MRI scansgive more detailed images of these, and can show the lymph nodes nearby. An ultrasounduses sound waves, instead of radiation, to produce images. Additional imaging tests look for cancer in the lungs and bone.