Which tests are used to diagnose bladder cancer?

Updated: Feb 23, 2021
  • Author: Kara N Babaian, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Diagnostic tests include a urine cytology test and/or tests for one of several available bladder cancer markers. These tests are highly sensitive in detecting CIS. Bladder biopsies are needed to firmly establish a diagnosis. Urinary cytology is highly specific for urothelial bladder cancer, with improved sensitivity for high-grade tumors and cytology obtained by bladder wash or barbotage.

Unfortunately, urinary cytology is not especially helpful in early diagnosis of SCCs. Most of these tumors are not diagnosed until they are at an advanced stage.

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