Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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Tests and procedures used to diagnose cancer of the ureter include:

  • Physical examination. Your doctor will ask you questions about your signs and symptoms and perform a physical examination to better understand your condition.
  • Urine tests. You may undergo a urinalysis to analyze your urine for any abnormalities. A urine cytology test may be used to look for abnormal cells in a urine sample.
  • Use of a thin, lighted tube to view the ureters. During a procedure called ureteroscopy, your doctor will insert a thin, lighted tube equipped with a camera (ureteroscope) into your urethra. The scope is passed through your bladder and into your ureters.

    Ureteroscopy allows your doctor to visually inspect your ureters and, if necessary, remove a small sample of tissue for laboratory testing (biopsy).

    In the laboratory, a doctor who specializes in analyzing blood and body tissue (pathologist) will carefully examine your cells for signs of cancer. This may include sophisticated analysis of the gene mutations involved in your cancer.

  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests may be used to help your doctor assess the extent of your ureteral cancer. Imaging tests may include intravenous pyelogram or CT urography. In certain cases, a magnetic resonance urogram may be used if you can't undergo CT imaging.
Aug. 21, 2014