While urologists are commonly associated with male reproductive organs, their specialties can range across a wide scope, including treating urinary tracts issues and disorders. Your urologist is also responsible for helping you detect and treat any form of bladder cancer – one of the most common types of cancers affecting Americans.
Affecting nearly 70,000 adults in the United States every year, bladder cancer is said to be highly treatable. Primary symptoms that you should alert your urologist of include pelvic pain, painful urination, or blood in your urine. You should especially be on high alert if you are a smoker, or have been in the past, are older in age, and a white male – the demographic most affected by bladder cancer.
If you do suspect that you could have bladder cancer, alert your urologist immediately so that they can run tests to possibly detect it. This can be done in a myriad of ways:
In this procedure, a small tube with a camera is run through your urethra, allowing your urologist to be able to navigate within your bladder. Since bladder cancer typically begins in the inner lining of your bladder, this camera tool will help them assess the landscape.
While in your bladder with a camera, your urologist might use a tool to take samples from within your bladder and your bladder wall for testing. You might sense a small feeling of pinching for a small amount of time, but it’s normal. Then, your doctor will send the sample to a lab for testing.
Just like a sample of your bladder needs to be sampled and examined, so does the urine that typically resides within your bladder. In this exam, your doctor might just order an ordinary urine sample, but a urine cytology, which involves a more in-depth look at your urine sample. Under a microscope a professional would look for cancer cells or telltale signs of bladder cancer.
Less invasive than the other exams, your doctor might order extensive imaging exams in an effort to see what kind of damage your bladder or other organs may have suffered. This CT scan, usually ordered of your kidneys, urethra, and/or bladder is called a CT urogram.
At Ironwood Urology, we’re here to help. If you suspect you may have bladder cancer, or suspect another issue with your urinary tract, please contact our medical experts. We specialize in everything from prostate health to reproductive concerns. To book your appointment, call Dr. Desi Avila at (480) 961-2323, or request one online.