Bladder cancer tests
If your doctor thinks you may have bladder cancer, you will need some tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Learn more about:
- General tests
- Tests to find cancer in the bladder
- Further tests
The first tests you have may be an internal examination and blood and urine tests. Sometimes you won’t need an internal examination until after bladder cancer has been diagnosed.
As the bladder is close to the rectum and vagina, your doctor may do an internal examination by sliding a gloved finger into the rectum or vagina to feel for anything unusual. Some people find this test embarrassing or uncomfortable, but it takes only a few seconds.
Your doctor may take blood samples to check your overall health. You will also be asked for a urine sample, which will be checked for blood and bacteria – this test is called a urinalysis. If you have blood in your urine, you may need to collect urine samples over three days. These samples will be checked for cancer cells – this is called a urine cytology.
Podcast: Tests and Cancer
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Prof Dickon Hayne, Professor of Urology, UWA Medical School, The University of Western Australia, Chair of the Bladder, Urothelial and Penile Cancer Subcommittee, ANZUP Cancer Trials Group, and Head of Urology, South Metropolitan Health Service, WA; A/Prof Tom Shakespeare, Director, Radiation Oncology, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Lismore Public Hospitals, NSW; Helen Anderson, Genitourinary Cancer Nurse Navigator (CNS), Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; BEAT Bladder Cancer Australia; Mark Jenkin, Consumer; Dr Ganessan Kichenadasse, Lead, SA Cancer Clinical Network, Commission of Excellence and Innovation in Health, and Medical Oncologist, Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, SA; A/Prof James Lynam, Medical Oncology Staff Specialist, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Jack McDonald, Consumer; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Tara Redemski, Senior Physiotherapist – Cancer and Blood Disorders, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Prof Shomik Sengupta, Consultant Urologist, Eastern Health and Professor of Surgery, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, VIC.
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