New Technology Improves Diagnosis of Bladder Cancer

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center says it recently began using a unique form of medical technology – called “blue light cystoscopy” – that helps oncologists diagnose bladder cancer tumors more easily, compared to the existing method using white light.

That’s a promising development for people with bladder cancer, which is the nation’s sixth-most commonly diagnosed cancer, and the ninth-most deadly form of cancer, according to Scripps.

A cystoscopy is a medical procedure that uses a thin, tube-like telescope called a cystoscope to look directly into the bladder for a close examination of the lining, in order to help find the cause of bladder symptoms. If any abnormal growths or suspicious areas are seen, doctors can remove a tissue sample (biopsy) to send to the lab for review.

For a long time, the only type of light available for illuminating and viewing the bladder lining was white light. But recently, a second type of cystoscopy, using blue light, has been introduced, which helps oncologists more easily detect suspicious areas, due to greater color contrast between healthy and diseased tissue (see examples below – traditional white light cystoscopy view is on the left, and blue light cystoscopy view is on the right). With blue light cystoscopy, patients consume a contrast solution, which is taken up rapidly by bladder cancer cells – the bladder cancer cells then turn up bright pink or red when viewed under the special blue light.

Dr. Ramdev Konijeti is director of genitourinary cancer at Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center and he came in studio on Good Morning San Diego to discuss the special technology and what it means for patients with bladder symptoms.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Health