Diagnosis of Urethral Cancer

Diagnosis of urethral cancer is made by physical examination and biopsy. The urethra and the bladder are thoroughly examined using a thin, lighted tube (called a cystoscope) that is inserted into the urethra. If a suspicious lesion is located, a small piece of tissue is removed surgically and examined under a microscope for cancer cells.

Biopsy is performed under local anesthesia, usually in a physician's office or an outpatient surgical center.

If the biopsy is positive, imaging tests are performed to stage the cancer.

These tests include x-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT scan), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan). MRI is the preferred method to evaluate urethral cancer.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 28 Feb 2002

Last Modified: 13 Oct 2015