How urologists detect bladder cancer with blue light cystoscopy



New technology that allows doctor to see tumors

How urologists detect bladder cancer with blue light cystoscopy

Like many bladder cancer survivors, Karen S. often reflects on her personal experience with the disease, and the support she received throughout her healthcare journey.

Karen was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2010 at age 54, after experiencing symptoms for two years. As an oncology nurse for more than 40 years, she was well aware of the many forms of cancer. Nevertheless, she assumed her frequent urinary tract infections and discomfort were gynecological in nature and never expected her doctors to discover a tumor or to be diagnosed with bladder cancer.

After receiving a variety of medical treatments, Karen still had persistent disease. She transferred to a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center where her bladder cancer specialist informed her about a technology called Blue Light Cystoscopy (BLC) that would allow her doctor to see tumors that white light alone may miss.

“BLC was a quick and easy procedure that gave my doctor the ability to identify tumors early on, allowing for earlier and less aggressive treatment,” says Karen.

Each year, about 81,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with bladder cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Symptoms in both men and women can mimic common urinary tract infections, like they did for Karen. For men, however, the more common symptom is blood in the urine. Whatever the symptoms, it is important to see a doctor.


According to Karen, people with bladder cancer, or those who suspect they may have bladder cancer, should ask their doctor questions and seek a second opinion. Once diagnosed, they should explore support groups and do research on bladder cancer, including learning about the latest treatments and technologies available.

“It’s especially important for me to inform others about the benefits of BLC, since many people may not be aware of this option. BLC may help others diagnosed with bladder cancer the way it helped me,” says Karen.

A cystoscopy is a medical procedure where a urology healthcare professional uses a thin, tube-like telescope called a cystoscope to look directly into the bladder for a close examination of the lining. This procedure is used to help find the cause of symptoms and to treat and monitor the condition. Historically, the only type of cystoscopy available used white light. BLC, however, uses both white and blue light to offer significantly improved detection of suspicious areas compared to white light alone and has been proven to increase the detection of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

Today, Karen is cancer free and continues to support those affected by bladder cancer, including patients, caregivers and their loved ones, by hosting support groups and working with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network. These resources can be found by visiting https://bcan.org/.

People experiencing symptoms of bladder cancer and those who have been recently diagnosed should ask their urologist about BLC, because it’s not available everywhere. To search for a location where BLC is offered near you, visit https://rebrand.ly/BLC-Locator.

(StatePoint) 
This article is sponsored by Photocure Inc.
PHOTO SOURCE: (c) fizkes / iStock via Getty Images Plus


Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Residential refresh

    Personalized touches for your home

    Your home is an expression of you, your personality, and your lifestyle. When it comes to personalizing your home’s aesthetic, try leaning into your senses to inspire change within your space. read more »
  • An elevated sandwich for any occasion

    Your family is going to love this

    They might not be the fanciest of foods, but when you eat a filling, protein-packed sandwich, you are usually left satisfied and full of energy. From ham and turkey to mayo and mustard, the possibilities are nearly endless when sandwiches are on the menu. read more »
  • Graduation party planning

    5 tips to make yours awesome

    Graduation marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, a significant milestone worth celebrating. However, planning a graduation party can be overwhelming. read more »
  • Know as they grow

    How birth defects affect each stage of life

    Birth defects, structural changes that affect one or more parts of the body, are the leading cause of infant mortality. A baby is born with a birth defect every 4.5 minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). read more »
  • Almost two-thirds of home fires are due to human error

    Here's how to prepare

    The threat of a home fire is greater than most people think. 40% of people believe they are more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than experience a home fire, yet residential fires are the most common disaster people face in the United States, according to the American Red Cross. read more »
  • How to erase negative self-talk and feel better

    Writing can help

    It’s been four years since the collective trauma of the pandemic created widespread grief, anxiety, and isolation, but the psychological wounds of this period have not fully healed. read more »
  • 7 ways to reduce energy bills during summer heat

    Don't let your budget get smoked during a heat wave

    With temperatures forecasted to run at least 2 degrees higher than historical averages across more than half the country, according to projections from AccuWeather, heat waves may lead to soaring air-conditioning bills this summer. read more »
  • Celebrate Father's Day with exciting outdoor activities

    5 ideas for a day of fun for the special guy in your life

    A thoughtful card or personalized gift can go a long way on Father’s Day, but what many dads (and grandpas) want on their special day is time spent with loved ones. read more »
  • Preparing for your first pet

    5 tips for new pet owners

    Welcoming a new pet into your family can be an exciting addition, but preparation is required to provide a loving home and enjoy the unconditional love of a four-legged family member. read more »
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy 101

    What every student-athlete should know

    Heart conditions may be more often associated with older individuals, but you might be surprised to learn hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common condition responsible for sudden cardiac death in young athletes. In fact, it’s the cause of 40% of sudden cardiac death cases. read more »