Bladder diagnostic tests to investigate abnormal symptoms

To confirm the diagnosis of bladder cancer you will need several tests. General tests to investigate abnormal symptoms may include a physical examination, and certain blood and urine tests.

Physical examination

As the bladder is close to the rectum and vagina, your doctor may do an internal examination by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum or the vagina to feel for anything unusual. This test may be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but it is painless and only takes a few minutes.

Some people will have an internal examination under anaesthesia, during the cystoscopy.

Blood test and urine test (urinalysis)

A blood sample will be taken regularly to check your general health. You will be asked to give a urine sample, which is sent to a laboratory and checked for blood, bacteria and any cancer cells. The urinalysis is usually done on three different days.

This information was last reviewed in March 2014
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