Diagnosing Bladder Cancer

Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Cancer


Bladder cancer is often detected early because it causes blood in the urine and other urinary symptoms such as:


  • Having to urinate more often than usual
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Feeling an urge to go right away even if your bladder isn’t full


These symptoms are more likely to be caused by a benign condition such as infection, bladder stones, an overactive bladder or an enlarged prostate (in men). If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your physician so the cause can be identified and treated, if necessary.

Advanced bladder cancer can cause other symptoms including:

  • Inability to urinate
  • Lower back pain on one side
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Swelling in the feet
  • Bone pain

If your physician suspects you may have bladder cancer, there are several tests that may be ordered to determine if it is bladder cancer or something else. Your physician will take a complete medical history and perform a physical exam. Lab tests will probably be ordered and you may be referred to a urologist for further tests.

Lab tests may include a urine cytology, urine culture and urine tumor markers. Some doctors find these urine tests useful in looking for bladder cancers, but they may not help in all cases. Some of these tests are more helpful when looking for possible recurrence of bladder cancer in someone who has already had it, rather than diagnosing it in the first place. Most doctors feel that cystoscopy is still the best way to find bladder cancer.


Bladder biopsies

Bladder biopsy samples are most often obtained during cystoscopy. A biopsy can show whether cancer is present and what type of bladder cancer it is. If bladder cancer is found, two important features are its invasiveness and grade.


Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview®

Standard cystoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to look directly inside your bladder with a scope. A cystoscopy may be used to help find the cause of your symptoms, to treat or monitor conditions. This test lets your doctor inspect the lining of your bladder very closely for any abnormal growths or suspicious areas. A standard cystoscopy is done under white light.

Blue light cystoscopy with cysview is a technology that significantly improves the detection of non-muscle invasive papillary cancer of the bladder as an adjunct to white light when compared to a traditional white light cystoscopy alone.

  • Cysview (hexaminolevulinate HCL) is an imaging solution that is delivered into the bladder and is absorbed by cancerous tissue.
  • The doctor performs the cystoscopy by using both white light and blue light. When the doctor switches to blue light, it highlights the cancerous tumors and makes them more visible.
  • Using blue light cystoscopy with cysview in conjunction with white light allows the physician to see more tumors than with standard white light cystoscopy alone.

Jupiter Medical Center is the first facility in the state to offer this advanced technology. Our state-of-the-art cystoscopy suite provides doctors access to built-in fluoroscopy technology that provides digital views ten times stronger than typical radiology systems. This suite is used primarily for diagnostic tests and procedures for problems involving the urinary tract.


To find a qualified physician, contact Physician Referral Services at 561-263-5737.