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Urine lab test for bladder cancer

What is a urine lab test?

To diagnose bladder cancer, your doctor may recommend a urine lab test. After collecting a urine sample, the doctor will sent it to a pathologist for further testing.

Urine lab tests for bladder cancer

There are a few different types of urine lab tests that your doctor may order:

  • Urine cytology: With this test, a urine sample is looked at under a microscope to see if any cancer or pre-cancer cells are present. This test can also be done with bladder washings from the cytoscopy. It’s important to know that cytology tests are not always accurate, and other tests are needed to confirm whether or not cancer is present.
  • Urine culture: This test can help determine whether any urinary symptoms are due to an infection, rather than cancer.
  • Urine tumor marker tests: Most doctors consider cytoscopy a good way to determine whether or not there are cancer cells in the bladder. However, there are also several tests for bladder cancer that measure the presence of various substances in the urine that may indicate the presence of cancer. Tests for NMP22 and BTA, the Immunocyt test and the UroVysion test are examples of ways to check for markers, or indicators, of cancer in the urine.

Other tests for bladder cancer may inlcude:

  • Genomic tumor assessment: Genomic testing examines a tumor on a genetic level to find the DNA alterations that are driving the growth of cancer. By identifying the mutations that occur in a cancer cell's genome, we can better understand what caused the tumor and tailor treatment based on these findings. Learn more about genomic tumor assessment.
  • Tumor molecular profiling: If you have a solid tumor, we’ll try to get a sample of tissue during a biopsy or surgery. Then, we’ll test for the presence of a variety of enzymes, proteins and genes to identify which therapies are likely to be most effective. Learn more about tumor molecular profiling.
  • Nutrition panel: With this test, we evaluate patients for deficiency of nutrients, such as vitamin D and iron. The test helps us identify the nutrients patients need replaced or boosted to support their quality of life. Learn more about our Nutrition Therapy program.
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