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Newsbrief: New tool in bladder cancer treatment

Each year in the United States, about 55,000 men and 17,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer, and about 11,000 men and 5,000 women die of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“One of the challenges with bladder cancer is the reoccurrence rate. This rate makes bladder cancer one of the most expensive cancers to treat,” said Steven Kardos, MD, of Northeast Medical Group Urology. “Traditionally, we used white-light cystoscopy to visualize and evaluate tumors within the bladder. Blue-light cystoscopy has been shown to detect high-risk tumors like carcinoma in situ, which has a higher chance of reoccurrence.”

To perform a cystoscopy, Cysview solution is injected into the bladder one hour before the procedure. This solution is absorbed by abnormal cells. Dr. Kardos begins with a traditional white-light cystoscopy to view the bladder and its possible abnormalities, then switches to blue light. Under this blue light, suspicious tissue fluoresces, or glows pink, due to its absorption of the Cysview solution.

“Using blue-light cystoscopy, we can get a better assessment of the extent of the disease that may have been missed by using traditional white-light cystoscopy,” continued Dr. Kardos. “Blue-light [cystoscopy] helps detect cancers that might be missed under white light and helps us more thoroughly manage tumors that are visible as well.” 

The first blue-light cystoscopy was performed at Bridgeport Hospital on August 4, 2017.

“By obtaining this technology at Bridgeport Hospital, we are able to have more thorough evaluations of patients up front, which can reduce cancer reoccurrence,” said Dr. Kardos. “Adding blue-light cystoscopy allows Bridgeport Hospital to offer the most comprehensive urologic oncology care.”

Other urologists utilizing blue-light cystoscopy are Bridgeport Hospital-affiliated urologists Edward Paraiso, MD, and Yale Medicine’s Patrick Kenney, MD.

Visit the Bridgeport Hospital website for more information on symptoms and risk factors for bladder cancer.