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The diagnosis of urachal cancer is usually based on:

  • Blood in the urine
  • A tumour located outside, in the middle, or on top of the urinary bladder
  • Mucus-producing cells in the tissue

Physical exam and imaging

An initial diagnosis will include a physical examination, ultrasound of the abdomen, and a urine test (urinary swab test). Urachal cancer is suggested by a tumour located outside, in the middle, or on top of the urinary bladder and blood in the urine.

Diagnostic imaging techniques

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is done outside the body (non-invasive) using high-frequency sounds to make an image of the inside of the body.

CT-scan

CT stands for Computed Tomography. This imaging technique makes a series of x-ray images of the body.

MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to make
images of the body.

Transurethral resection (TUR)

If urachal cancer is suspected, the next step is to examine tissue under a microscope (histologic examination). Surgery must be performed to get the tissue for that examination.

Transurethral resection (TUR) is the most accessible way to acquire tissue from the urinary bladder. TUR is performed by the insertion of a rigid tube-like instrument (endoscope) through the urethra (the canal through which the urine is passed) into the bladder. The tissue is removed with the endoscope. The patient is asleep (under general anaesthesia) during this procedure.

If examination of the tissue shows cancerous mucus-producing cells (mucinous histology), the diagnosis is then formed in accordance with the imaging results.

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