Bladder cancer often does not present with any symptoms. The most common symptom is presence of blood in the urine. Other symptoms include:
- changes in urinary habit such as
- urgency, bladder pain, recurrent urine infections, abdominal or flank pain, weight loss, fever or feeling of tiredness.
What tests are performed for diagnosis and workup of bladder cancer?
Patients with suspicion of bladder cancer should undergo:
- Imaging with Ultrasound or CT scan or MRI. These tests will provide useful information about the bladder, kidney and urine tubes, which will help in diagnosis and formulating treatment plans
- Urine tests and urine cytology: In these tests, the urine is examined for presence of infections as well as cancer cells. Absence of cancer cells in the urine does NOT exclude bladder cancer.
- Cystoscopy: Is the gold standard for diagnosis of bladder cancer. During this procedure, a camera (flexible or rigid) is inserted through the urine passage to visually inspect the bladder for presence of any abnormalities or growths such as cancer.
Your GP and urologist usually organise a combination of the above tests for investigation of the bladder cancer. Patients with visible blood in the urine should be thoroughly investigated to rule out bladder cancer.
Treatment options for bladder cancer:
Treatment of bladder cancer is based on the stage and the grade of cancer as well as the patient’s comorbidities and conditions. These treatments could vary from minor endoscopic treatments; where the tumour is excised or fulgurated; to major surgery; where the bladder is removed surgically. In our practice we conduct a thorough assessment of the cancer tailor the treatment to each patient based on the risk of cancer progression as well as patient medical conditions.