Misdiagnosing Bladder Cancer

Cancer Misdiagnosis

Bladder cancer is a cancer that develops in the bladder lining.  This type of cancer usually occurs in older adults and should be diagnosed in its early stages.  The survival rate of patients who are diagnosed with bladder cancer in the early stages is fairly high.  It does have a high recurrence rate though.  However, if the cancer is undetected, it can grow to other systems of the body, leading to the patient suffering from unnecessary pain and suffering, and possibly even death.

The Diagnostic Process and Complications

Patients who complain of symptoms that are similar to bladder cancer can sometimes be easily misdiagnosed with other diseases such as prostate infections or cystitis.  Therefore it is important that a doctor run multiple tests when diagnosing a patient.  The types of examinations include:

  • A cystoscopy – where a tube is inserted into the urethra in order to locate and biopsy any suspicious lesions.
  • Urine cytology – may be performed using any voided urine after the cystoscopy (if the results are negative they can be very inconclusive).
  • Imaging methods – including CT scans and X-rays.


The symptoms of bladder cancer tend to be vague, making it hard to diagnose.  Symptoms include:

  • Back pain
  • Blood in urine (may or may not be visible without a lab test)
  • Feeling a need to urinate and not having any urine excretion
  • Painful urination
  • Pelvic pain
  • Polyuria (frequent urination)

Bladder Cancer can be Mistaken for:

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate gland)
  • Bladder infections (urinary tract infection)
  • Bladder papilloma and other benign bladder tumors
  • Bladder stones
  • Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder)
  • Kidney cancer
  • Overactive bladder
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pyelonephritis (kidney infections)
  • Renal cell carcinoma


Treatments for bladder cancer that has been detected early include:

  • Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) – removes the cancerous tissue before it has a chance to spread.
  • Chemotherapy

However, if a doctor fails to order the correct tests or follow up on warnings signs, the cancer can then grow to the paint where the above treatment options are no longer viable options.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the misdiagnosis of bladder cancer, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.