Urology Care Foundation The Official Foundation of the American Urological Association

Urology Care Foundation The Official Foundation of the American Urological Association

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Get the facts. And the help you need.

Urine Cytology

Urine cytology is an examination of the urine to screen for cancer cells.

In preparation for this test, males must wipe the head of the penis and females need to wash the area between the lips of the vagina with soapy water and rinse. As the patient begins to urinate, they should allow a small amount to fall into the toilet bowel to clear the urethra of any contaminates. Then, in a sterile container, they should catch about three to six ounces of urine and then remove the container from the urine stream. The patient then gives the container containing the urine sample to their health care provider.

The urine sample will be sent out to a laboratory for evaluation by a pathologist who looks for the presence of cancer cells within the urine. Frequently, the second or subsequent urinations during the day and not the first urination of the day are examined.

The patient can resume their daily activities immediately following this test.



Reviewed January 2011

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Urine Cytology Glossary
  • bowel: Another word for intestines or colon.

  • cancer: An abnormal growth that can invade nearby structures and spread to other parts of the body and may be a threat to life.

  • cytology: The examination of cells obtained from the body tissue or fluids, especially to establish if they are cancerous.

  • cytology: Examination of cells obtained from the body tissue or fluids, especially to determine if they are cancerous.

  • ions: Electrically charged atoms.

  • pathologist: A physician who interprets and diagnoses the changes caused by disease in tissues and body fluids.

  • penis: The male organ used for urination and sex.

  • sterile: Incapable of becoming pregnant or inducing pregnancy.Can also mean free from living germs or microorganisms.

  • urethra: A tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. In males, the urethra serves as the channel through which semen is ejaculated and it extends from the bladder to the tip of the penis. In females, the urethra is much shorter than in males.

  • urinate: To release urine from the bladder to the outside. Also referred to as void.

  • urination: The passing of urine.

  • urine: Liquid waste product filtered from the blood by the kidneys, stored in the bladder and expelled from the body through the urethra by the act of urinating (voiding). About 96 percent of which is water and the rest waste products.

  • vagina: The tube in a woman's body that runs beside the urethra and connects the uterus (womb)to the outside of the body. Sometimes called the birth canal. Sexual intercourse, the outflow of blood during menstruation and the birth of a baby all take place through the vagina.

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