U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A female asked:

How to diagnose bladder cancer? i have blood in my urine. can a urine test show if i have bladder cancer? do other signs of bladder cancer show up in urine, like maybe cancer cells?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alvin Lin
Geriatrics 31 years experience
Blood : Blood in your urine, known as hematuria, can be either gross (visible to the naked eye) or microscopic (invisible to the naked eye, thus found only upon testing or urinalysis). Bladder & kidney infections can cause hematuria. So can kidney stones. However, these three possibilities are typically associated w/discomfort & pain. Painless hematuria is more worrisome for bladder cancer, especially in smokers and those exposed to (carcinogenic) chemicals at work. The diagnosis can be made by your family physician via urine testing, either cytology (looking for cancer cells) or bard bta (looking for tumor antigen). If both of those tests are negative but the reason for the painless hematuria remains elusive, then a cystoscopy (visual examination of your bladder via a small camera inside a tube via your urethra) can be performed by a urologist. Biopsies can be taken at this time to determine the nature and extent of the cancer. Sometimes, other tests will be performed looking to see if there's disease anywhere else. For instance, an intravenous pyelogram will allow us to visualize your kidneys & ureters, in addition to the bladder. An abdominal and/or pelvic ct will allow us to visualize any adjacent structures for spread.
Dr. James Krick
Urology 37 years experience
Bladder cancer: The definitive test remains cystoscopy. This must be performed by a qualified urologist. It can, however, usually be performed in the office.
Last updated Jun 4, 2020


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.