SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – This year, more than 82,000 people will be told they have bladder cancer, and almost 17,000 will die from it. Now, new technology is helping to light up the problem like never before.
Frank Sinatra had it, so did Jack Lemmon, Telly Savalas, and U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey – bladder cancer is almost three times more common in men than women. The key to beating it – early detection.
One of the first signs is blood in the urine. Also, patients may have to urinate frequently and experience pelvic or back pain. Detecting it early is key to survival.
“It’s very important because when we find this, people on this stage, we can offer them the treatment, aggressive treatment,” explains Amirali Salmasi, MD, Urologist at UC San Diego Health.
Oncologists at UC San Diego are now using blue light cystoscopy to detect and monitor bladder cancer. It’s the same technology used in computer monitors, smart phones, tablets and TVs. Before the procedure, urologists insert a special dye into the bladder. Then, using a catheter, doctors use a camera with a white light to look inside. Then, they switch to a blue light. Combined with the dye, it makes the once undetectable cancer cells glow florescent pink.
Dr. Salmasi further explains, “With blue light, the cancer cells accumulate this drugs and they have fluoresce. By doing that, we can have some contrast between the tumor cells and the normal cells. And by doing that increase our detection rate. In 11 percent of the people, they can change your diagnosis or upgrade your diagnosis.”
It’s FDA-approved and can be used in both the clinic and the O.R., for new diagnosis and also monitoring those who are battling the disease.
Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.
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TITLE: BLUE LIGHT MAKES BLADDER CANCER GLOW PINK
REPORT: MB #5329
BACKGROUND: Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the cells of the bladder, the organ responsible for storing urine. It is the sixth most common cancer in the United States, with a higher incidence in older adults. There are three types of bladder cancer: urothelial carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. According to the American Cancer Association, there were over 82,000 new cases of bladder cancer, and almost 17,000 bladder cancer deaths. Bladder cancer mainly affects older people, with the average of people diagnosed being 73. Bladder cancer also affects more men than women –affects about one in 18 men, while it only affects about one in 91 women.
DIAGNOSING: Common symptoms of bladder cancer include, but are not limited to: blood in urine, frequent urination, painful urination, and/or back pain. Doctors can diagnose bladder cancer with a cystoscopy, biopsy, urine cytology, CT scans, and/or X-rays. There are several risk factors of bladder cancer including: smoking, increased age, being male, exposure to dyes, rubber, leather, or textiles, previous cancer treatment, chronic bladder inflammation, and/or family history of the disease.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: UC San Diego Health developed a new way to diagnose bladder cancer – it uses the same technology as smart phones and TVs, and it’s called blue light cystoscopy. Amirali Salmasi, MD, Urologist at UC San Diego Health, led the research. He says, “Before the procedure, urologists insert a special dye into the bladder, then, using a catheter, doctors use a camera with a white light to look inside. Then, they switch to a blue light – combined with the dye, it makes the once undetectable cancer cells glow fluorescent pink.”
(Source: Amirali Salmasi, MD, Urologist at UC San Diego Health)
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