Screening means testing people for early stages of an illness before they have any symptoms.
What screening is
Screening means testing people for early stages of an illness before they have any symptoms. For screening to be useful the tests:
- must be reliable at picking up the illness
- must be simple and quick
- overall must do more good than harm to people taking part
Screening for bladder cancer
At the moment there is no reliable screening test for bladder cancer.
Testing for blood in the urine would not be a useful screening test for the general population. Small amounts of blood in urine can be caused by other medical conditions, such as a urine infection or kidney problems.
Doctors looked at whether testing for blood in the urine would be a reliable test for people at a higher risk of bladder cancer. The test involves dipping a testing stick into a fresh sample of your urine. The National Screening Committee looked at the results of numerous studies. They think that testing the urine for blood is not a useful test for this group of people at the moment.
Doctors are also looking at other urine tests to diagnose bladder cancer, such as the NMP22 test and the MCM5 test. These are currently being tested as ways of improving diagnosis of bladder cancer, rather than as screening tests.
People at higher risk of getting bladder cancer
Talk to your doctor if you think you are at a high risk of developing bladder cancer. You may be able to have regular check ups.