Bladder cancer affects the urinary bladder of an individual. The cancer is found within the organ. In some cases the urethra, a tube through which urine passes out of the body, is also affected. The urinary bladder plays a very important role in the waste disposal function of the body as this is where the urine is held till there is sufficient quantity to urinate. There are many ways to test for bladder cancer. These include procedures such as a cystoscopy, a fish test for bladder cancer, and a urine test. In addition, there are several urine tests in the developmental stages that will make the detection of bladder cancer easier as compared to the regular tests.
The first signal that you have bladder cancer is usually blood in the urine. The blood present in your urine changes the color of your urine to pale yellow-red and sometimes darker-red. In a few cases, the color of your urine does not change, but your doctor may find small traces of blood when he/she does a urine test if you have some other symptoms or as part of a routine check-up.
However, keep in mind that if there is blood in your urine it does not necessarily mean that you have bladder cancer. This could be due to some other issues such as stones in the bladder, benign tumors, and infection. In the case of bladder cancer, blood may be found on one day and absent on the next. In fact your urine might remain clear for weeks or months altogether. It however, eventually appears. In the initial stages of the cancer there may be bleeding, but one would experience very little pain.
Urine cytology or a urine test for bladder cancer is usually done to see if any pre-cancer cells or cancer cells are found in your urine. The urine sample that is collected from you is studied under a microscope. Cytology, however, is not a perfect test and may not help find all cancers. Also, not finding cancerous cells does not necessarily mean that you are free from cancer.
Another urine test that is done is a urine culture. During a urine culture, your urine sample is kept in a dish so that any bacteria present in the urine grow. It generally takes some time for the bacteria to grow and you may have to wait for a few days before your results come in. This urine test is generally done to ensure that your urine has no infection. The symptoms of bladder cancer and infection are generally similar.More articles from the Medical Tests Category