A urologist will make a bladder cancer diagnosis. Urologists use a cystoscope to examine the lining of the bladder and the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra).

If bladder cancer is diagnosed, the doctor needs to know the stage, or extent, of the disease to plan the best treatment. Staging is a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has invaded the bladder wall or spread beyond that, and, if so, to what parts of the body. Grade refers to how abnormal the cancer cells look and how many cells are multiplying. A higher grade means the cells are more uneven and are multiplying more. Knowing the grade can help your doctor predict how quickly the cancer will grow and spread.