First, relax and take a deep breath!! Any time there is blood in the urine, symptoms of a UTI but no bacteria, bladder cancer needs to be ruled out. Tests for cells in the urine can indicate the presence or absence of bladder cancer, but there are a LOT of false positives and false negatives and they are usually used only in conjunction with other tests. The only was to test for sure is with a TURB (transurethral biopsy of the bladder) which is done under general anesthesia. Cystocopy, where the urologist uses a small camera just to look inside the bladder, is not usually done under anesthesia. I suspect that she is having a TURB.
The urologist will take small samples of the bladder lining and they will be sent to a pathologist who will make the final determination/diagnosis. Believe me, she wouldn't want to do this without anesthesia (although some have done it).
A blood test wouldn't give any information about the presence or absence of bladder cancer.
Rest assured that this is the appropriate procedure in your sister's case. Until the results are back she will not know what the situation is. It is not a major deal at all, and a very good idea.
We will keep our fingers crossed!!
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
Hi - I'm new here and would really appreciate anyone's input. My younger sister, 41 years old, is scheduled for a cystoscopy on Monday and I am very worried and confused by the "bladder cancer" talk. Her symptoms started two weeks ago with lower pelvic pain and she thought it was a urinary infection. She went to Patient First who took urine and gave her an antibiotic for a UTI. Within a week, she was back at the same doctor because symptoms were not any better and now she had back pain and urinary pain. She was prescribed another antibiotic and referred to a urologist. The urologist informed her that she had gross microscopic hematuria (she never seen any blood) on both previous visits to Patient First (I think she said the count was 20), that her urine cultures showed no UTI and so he ordered a CT scan. The CT scan showed one 2 millimeter kidney stone. The urologist then scheduled her for the cystoscopy to "check for bladder cancer" because, as he put it, "the one small stone should not account for the amount of blood and pain that has been ongoing." (Note - she has had kidney stones once before in her life and says this is not the same pain).
My questions/concerns are:
*Is it normal to undergo a cystocopy (w/general anesthesia) before any other tests are done (I read (during my countless hours of research)) that even a urine test can see cancer cells. (In other words, is there something the dr. isn't saying?) She hasn't even had blood drawn yet.
*Why did they order general anesthesia when the procedure can be done with local? Is it because they suspect something and want to be able to biopsy it right away or is this just a normal option?
Sorry for the long post - I am just so worried for her. I don't know whether we are being overly worried for no reason (is this just a ruling out process) or are we potentially on the road to something BAD! I should also point out that we lost our father just two years a go (at the age of 59) to colorectal cancer and I wonder if there is any correlation?
Thank you for your time and I appreciate your input.