Bladder Cancer Glows Pink Under Blue Light

Beating Bladder Cancer: How UC San Diego Health’s Blue Light Cystoscopy is Revolutionizing Early Detection and Diagnosis

The deadly disease of bladder cancer affects over 82,000 new cases each year and leads to almost 17,000 deaths. Men are more likely to be affected by the disease than women, with notable figures like Frank Sinatra, Jack Lemmon, and Telly Savalas among those who have had it. Early detection is key in beating bladder cancer, with symptoms including blood in the urine, frequent urination, and pelvic or back pain.

Doctors at UC San Diego Health are now utilizing blue light cystoscopy to detect and monitor bladder cancer. This technology uses a special dye that is inserted into the bladder before a camera is used to examine it. By switching to a blue light, cancer cells that were once undetectable become fluorescent pink, providing better contrast between tumor cells and normal cells. This technology has shown to increase detection rates and can potentially change or upgrade a patient’s diagnosis in 11% of cases.

Blue light cystoscopy is FDA-approved and can be used both in the clinic and during surgical procedures for new diagnoses and to monitor patients who are already battling the disease. This technology is a promising advancement in the fight against bladder cancer, offering hope for improved outcomes and survival rates.

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