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How are physical exams used to diagnose urinary system cancers?

A physical exam is an important part of the diagnosis of urinary system cancers because sometimes this kind of cancer produces a lump or mass, i.e., a tumor that can be felt by the doctor. Also, there are specialized instruments that the doctor can use to look inside your urethra, bladder, or ureters. For example, a ureteroscope is a thin tube with a small light and camera on the end that allows your doctor to examine the lining of the ureters and take a tissue sample for a biopsy if necessary. A cystoscope is a similar instrument that provides your doctor with a close-up view of the urethra and bladder and also allows for a tissue sample to be collected. Your doctor might also conduct a pelvic exam or a rectal exam when diagnosing urethral cancer. Although some of these tests may seem invasive, they are usually performed after local or general anesthesia is provided.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.