According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of bladder cancer in women can include pelvic discomfort, dark or blood-tinged urine, back pain and pain upon urination. Mayo Clinic also explains that while the underlying cause of bladder cancer is often unknown, the condition has been associated with exposure to certain chemicals, smoking, exposure to radiation and infections caused by parasites.
The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network explains that bladder cancer symptoms such as blood in the urine are often mistaken for normal occurrences such as menopause or menstruation, which can lead to late diagnosis. Bladder cancer symptoms may also be similar to urinary tract infections, so it is important for women with urinary tract infections to consult with their physicians if their symptoms are not relieved with antibiotic treatments.
According to the American Cancer Society, bladder cancer is diagnosed through a series of tests and a physical examination of the bladder. A cytoscopy procedure examines the internal walls of the bladder in order to detect growths and tumors. During a cytoscopy procedure, a physician inserts a tool called a cytoscope into the bladder. Cytoscopes are designed with special lights and lenses or minuscule video cameras that amplify the bladder walls. If the cytoscope detects an abnormality, the tissue is biopsied and analyzed.