Bladder cancer causes back pain, bleeding and discomfort during urination, reports the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Blood in the urine, which may be either visible or detected microscopically, is the most common symptom that leads to diagnosis of the disease, according to the organization.
Symptoms may differ based on the type of bladder cancer, which is related to the kind of cell in which the cancer develops, according to Mayo Clinic. Various forms of the disease include transitional cell carcinoma, which occurs in the lining of the bladder, squamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer that develops in response to infection and chronic irritation, and adenocarcinoma, which originates in glands that produce mucus.
Although many bladder cancer patients are diagnosed because they are symptomatic, some cases of the disease are discovered incidentally during laboratory tests for other conditions, reports the American Cancer Society. Suspicion of bladder cancer warrants additional testing. Cystoscopy, a procedure in which the urologist examines the inside of the bladder using a flexible device that is inserted into the urethra, is a common tool used for detection of bladder cancer. If abnormalities are found during the procedure, the suspicious cells are biopsied for analysis, according to the American Cancer Society.