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A new study shows that adding urine tests to cystoscopy to check for recurrent bladder cancer (bladder cancer that has come back after treatment) increases costs and false-positive test results (results that show that cancer has come back when it has not). Cystoscopy is the use of a small, flexible, hollow viewing tube with a camera to look inside the bladder. It is used to check for recurrent cancer in patients treated for early-stage bladder cancer. The use of urine tests has increased in recent years to monitor recurrent bladder cancer. This study shows that cystoscopy alone is still the best way to detect recurrent bladder cancer and some urine tests do not help doctors diagnose bladder cancer.
What this means for patients
“Adding urine tests to ongoing cystoscopy could result in unnecessary procedures and patient anxiety,” said senior author Ashish Kamat, MD, Associate Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Our findings suggest that rigorous screening with cystoscopy alone is the best way to monitor for a recurrence in patients with a history of bladder cancer.” When being monitored for recurrent bladder cancer, talk with your doctor about the tests used and what they will tell you about the cancer, including what the results may mean.
What to Ask Your Doctor
- What type of bladder cancer do I have?
- What is the chance that the cancer will come back after treatment?
- What follow-up tests will I need, and how often will I need them?
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