Bladder cancer : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

Most of the symptoms of bladder cancer can also occur with non-cancerous conditions. It’s important to get evaluated if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Painful urination
  • Urinary frequency
  • Urinary urgency

Other symptoms that can occur with this disease:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia
  • Bone pain or tenderness
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Weight loss

Diagnosis & Tests

The health care provider will perform a physical examination, including a rectal and pelvic exam.

Diagnostic tests that may be done include:

  • Abdominal CT scan
  • Bladder biopsy (usually performed during cystoscopy)
  • Cystoscopy (examining the inside of the bladder with a camera)
  • Intravenous pyelogram – IVP
  • Urinalysis
  • Urine cytology


Review Date : 2/12/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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