Bladder Cancer Types And Urine Lab Tests

Bladder Cancer Types And Urine Lab Tests
Bladder cancer is often found because of signs or symptoms a person is having, or it might be found because of lab tests a person gets for another reason. If bladder cancer is suspected, exams and tests will be needed to confirm the diagnosis. If cancer is found, further tests will be done to help determine the extent ( stage) of the cancer.


URINE LAB TESTS FOR BLADDER CANCER

1. Urinalysis
This is a simple test to check for blood and other substances in a sample of urine.

For more information about bladder cancer, see :

2. Urine cytology
For this test, a sample of urine is looked at with a microscope to see if it has any cancer or pre-cancer cells. Cytology is also done on any bladder washings taken during a cystoscopy (see below). Cytology can help find some cancers, but this test is not perfect. Not finding cancer on this test doesn’t always mean you are cancer free.

3. Urine culture
If you are having urinary symptoms, this test may be done to see if an infection (rather than cancer) is the cause. Urinary tract infections and bladder cancers can have similar symptoms. For a urine culture, a sample of urine is put into a dish in the lab to allow any bacteria that are present to grow. It can take time for the bacteria to grow, so it may take a few days to get the results of this test.

4. Urine tumor marker tests
Different urine tests look for specific substances released by bladder cancer cells. One or more of these tests may be used along with urine cytology to help determine if you have bladder cancer. These include the tests for NMP22 (BladderChek) and BTA (BTA stat), the Immunocyt test, and the UroVysion test, which are discussed in Can bladder cancer be found early?

Some doctors find these urine tests useful in looking for bladder cancers, but they may not help in all cases. Most doctors feel that cystoscopy is still the best way to find bladder cancer. Some of these tests are more helpful when looking for a possible recurrence of bladder cancer in someone who has already had it, rather than finding it in the first place.

For more information about bladder cancer, see :

TYPES OF BLADDER CANCER

Several types of cancer can start in the bladder.

Urothelial carcinoma (transitional cell carcinoma)
Urothelial carcinoma, also known as transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), is by far the most common type of bladder cancer. In fact, if you are told you have bladder cancer it is almost certain to be a urothelial carcinoma. These cancers start in the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder.

Urothelial cells also line other parts of the urinary tract, such as the part of the kidney that connects to the ureter (called the renal pelvis), the ureters, and the urethra. Patients with bladder cancer sometimes have other tumors in these places, so the entire urinary tract needs to be checked for tumors.

Invasive versus non-invasive bladder cancer
Bladder cancers are often described based on how far they have invaded into the wall of the bladder:
  • Non-invasive cancers are still in the inner layer of cells (the transitional epithelium) but have not grown into the deeper layers.
  • Invasive cancers have grown into deeper layers of the bladder wall. These cancers are more likely to spread and are harder to treat.

A bladder cancer can also be described as superficial or non-muscle invasive. These terms include both non-invasive tumors as well as any invasive tumors that have not grown into the main muscle layer of the bladder.

For more information about bladder cancer, see :

Papillary versus flat cancer
Bladder cancers are also divided into 2 subtypes, papillary and flat, based on how they grow.
  • Papillary carcinomas grow in slender, finger-like projections from the inner surface of the bladder toward the hollow center. Papillary tumors often grow toward the center of the bladder without growing into the deeper bladder layers. These tumors are called non-invasive papillary cancers. Very low-grade (slow growing), non-invasive papillary cancer is sometimes called papillary urothelial neoplasm of low-malignant potential (PUNLMP) and tends to have a very good outcome.
  • Flat carcinomas do not grow toward the hollow part of the bladder at all. If a flat tumor is only in the inner layer of bladder cells, it is known as a non-invasive flat carcinoma or a flat carcinoma in situ (CIS).

If either a papillary or flat tumor grows into deeper layers of the bladder, it is called an invasive urothelial (or transitional cell) carcinoma.

Reference :

A Health teacher and Midwife..

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