How is bladder cancer diagnosed?

Updated: Nov 27, 2016
  • Author: Michael Christopher Large, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Gross or microscopic hematuria is the initial presenting sign in 80%-90% of patients. Approximately 20% of patients have irritative symptoms such as urinary urgency, dysuria, or frequency. This presentation is typical in patients with diffuse CIS, which can be confused with a urinary tract infection and can result in a delayed diagnosis. With the more routine use of cross-sectional imaging, many bladder lesions are incidentally diagnosed. Patients with muscle-invasive disease can present with incidental or symptomatic obstructive hydroureteronephrosis or, less commonly, with metastatic deposits. These factors make bladder cancer a very uncommon incidental finding on autopsy.

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