The following tests and procedures may be used to find and classify (stage) urologic cancer:
Biopsy – A sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope.Blood tests – Blood is drawn and measured for tumor markers.
Bone scan – A technique to create images of bones on a computer screen or on film. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into a blood vessel and collects in the bones, enabling them to be shown on the scanner.
Chest x-ray – A type of high-energy radiation used to diagnose diseases by making pictures of the inside of the body. They can show if you urologic cancer has spread to the lungs.
CT scan (computed tomography) – An X-ray procedure that creates detailed, highly accurate cross- sectional pictures of the prostate. A special contrast material, or dye, may be injected into a vein to help abnormal tissues show up more clearly.
Cystoscope – A doctor uses a small tube with a camera attached at the end to look inside your bladder.
Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) – Dye is injected into your bloodstream and an X-ray is taken to show the path of the dye. This helps determine the cause of blood in the urine.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or NMRI (nuclear magnetic resonance imaging) – A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body.
Physical examination – Helps doctors diagnose or find the cause of a patient’s symptoms and provides a standard way of monitoring any change in function throughout treatment.
Retrograde pyelography – This is similar to the IVP, but dye is injected into the ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), making the lining of the bladder, ureters and kidneys easier to see.
Ultrasound – Uses sound waves to make an image of areas inside the body.
Urine culture – A urine sample is tested in a laboratory for the presence of infection-causing bacteria.
Urine cytology – A specialist examines a sample of your urine under a microscope, and looks for cancerous or precancerous cells.
X-ray – A type of high-energy radiation used to diagnose diseases by making pictures of the inside of the body. They can show if you urologic cancer has spread to the lungs or bones.