Any combination of these tests and procedures may be used to find and classify (stage) urologic cancer:
- Biopsy. Removes cells or tissues for viewing under a microscope to check for signs of cancer
- Blood test. Analyzes a sample of blood to help diagnose or treat a disease
- Bone scan. Involves injection of a small amount of radioactive material into a blood vessel to create images of bones on a computer screen or on film
- Chest X-ray. Uses a type of high-energy radiation to diagnose diseases by making pictures of the inside of the body; shows if urologic cancer has spread to the lungs
- CT scan (computed tomography). Uses a type of X-ray to create detailed, highly accurate, cross-sectional images of the body
- Cystoscope. Uses a small, lighted tube with a camera to look inside the bladder
- Intravenous pyelogram (IVP). Uses an injectable dye and an X-ray to help determine the cause of blood in the urine
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or NMRI (nuclear magnetic resonance imaging). Uses a magnetic field instead of X-rays to provide detailed images of body structures
- Physical examination. Helps doctors diagnose or find the cause of symptoms and provides a standard way of monitoring any change in function throughout treatment
- Retrograde pyelography. Uses an injectable dye and an X-ray to follow the path of urine through the ureters from the kidneys to the bladder; similar to the IVP; makes 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. Tests a urine sample in a laboratory for the presence of infection-causing bacteria
- Urine cytology. Examines a sample of urine under a microscope to look for cancerous or precancerous cells
- X-ray. Uses a type of high-energy radiation to diagnose diseases by making pictures of the inside of the body that can show the location, size, and shape of a tumor and determine if urologic cancer has spread to the lungs or bones
Research at UCHealth also involves noninvasive ways to diagnose urologic cancer from urine, semen, and blood samples.