Screening for Bladder Cancer

The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are administered to people who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions, but do not have any symptoms.

Screening Guidelines

There are no standard tests or current guidelines for bladder cancer screening. However, if you have any risk factors for bladder cancer, your doctor will want to discuss them with you to help reduce your risk. In certain cases, your doctor may check for the possibility of cancer in the bladder. Those with higher than average risk of bladder cancer include:

  • Heavy smokers
  • People who have worked in jobs that exposed them to known bladder cancer-causing agents
  • People who have previously had bladder cancer
  • People with certain birth defects of the bladder

Possible tests for those with high risk include:

  • Urine tests to detect the presence of abnormal cells or blood
  • Cystoscopy to look for tumors or changes in the cellular structure of the bladder wall

Talk to your doctor about your bladder cancer risk and any tests you may need.

Revision Information

  • Bladder cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003085-pdf.pdf. Accessed June 29, 2015.

  • Bladder cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 14, 2015. Accessed June 29, 2015.

  • Screening for bladder & other urothelial cancers. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/types/bladder/patient/bladder-screening-pdq#section/%5F38. Updated May 29, 2015. Accessed June 29, 2015.