Diagnosis of Bladder Cancer
Diabetes patients who have been prescribed the popular drug Actos should be aware that there may be a heightened risk of bladder cancer associated with the drug. Patients who experience symptoms of bladder cancer should talk to their doctor, who will perform tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Tests for Diagnosis of Bladder Cancer
A doctor will perform a battery of tests if he or she suspects a diagnosis of bladder cancer. First, the doctor will take a patient’s medical history to determine whether a patient has certain risk factors for bladder cancer. Next, the doctor will perform a physical exam to check for signs of bladder cancer; if they see any, the next step is a cystoscopy. During a cystoscopy, the doctor extends a cystoscope – a long, thin tube with a camera on the end – through the bladder via the urethra. If the doctor sees any abnormalities, he or she will collect samples for analysis in a lab.
If a cystoscopy reveals abnormalities in a patient’s bladder, the doctor will need to take cultures and/or biopsies to be analyzed in a lab. A patient’s urine can be tested for the presence of pre-cancerous or cancerous cells, but a diagnosis of bladder cancer can only be confirmed with a biopsy. During a biopsy, the doctor removes a small portion of the patient’s bladder tissue to determine whether cancer is present. If so, the biopsy will reveal how invasive the cancer is (how much it has spread) and its grade (how likely it is to respond to treatment). Other tests may be performed if a doctor suspects that the cancer has spread past the bladder.
Lawsuits and Diagnosis of Actos Bladder Cancer
Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Co., the companies that manufacture Actos, face lawsuits from patients who have suffered an Actos bladder cancer diagnosis. In Louisiana and California, lawsuits have been consolidated and will soon go to trial, hopefully bringing justice to patients who believe that their bladder cancer diagnosis is the result of taking the drug. The FDA has warned doctors to avoid prescribing Actos to patients who have a heightened risk of bladder cancer. Actos now comes with a warning to users that it may increase the possibility of developing bladder cancer, especially when used for a long time or at a high dosage. Actos patients who suspect that they may have bladder cancer should discuss their concerns with their doctor.