Blue-light technology improves identification of bladder cancer

Urologists at UT Southwestern Medical Center are lighting up cancer better than ever before. They’re among the first in the country to combine blue-light technology with flexible cystoscopes to identify cancers that could have easily been missed. Read story

This is what urologists at UT Southwestern Medical Center see when they chase down bladder cancer.

You can see things that you can’t see just by shining a typical light on them.

That “typical light” is white.

Here… the light is blue.

{SUPER: Yair Lotan, M.D./Professor, Urology/Chair, Urologic Oncology}

I think this is just another step for our cancer center to stay on the cutting edge and offer the best diagnostic modalities for our patients.

So how does blue light cystoscopy work?

Patients arrive an hour early for their appointment.

An imaging agent is put in their bladder.

It’s absorbed by cancer cells which glow pink under the blue light.

And so, it’s not new that we’ve looked in people’s bladders in clinic, what’s new is that there’s a new flexible scope that allows you to use blue light in clinic and its now FDA approved. {Bump w/} (16:21:42) The procedure just got approved around March of this year and there were four sites that were given early access to the scopes and…we’re one of the first sites in the country.

And one of the first patients to benefit was Dr. Robert McMichael of Mansfield, Texas.

It’s a more sensitive test for bladder cancer so if there’s any cancer to be seen, the blue light cystoscopy significantly improves the chances that you’ll see it on the cystoscopy.

The father of two was diagnosed with bladder cancer about a year ago.

What followed was surgery, then immunotherapy and now screening every couple of months by UT Southwestern’s Dr. Yair Lotan…who specializes in minimally invasive, robotic and open surgical techniques.

{SUPER: Robert McMichael, M.D./Bladder Cancer Patient}

Once you have bladder cancer...you have to be under surveillance indefinitely.

Bladder cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the U.S.

The 4th for men.

And it has the highest rate of recurrence of *all cancers… according to the national institutes of health.

Almost everybody within the first year or two of diagnosis is at a considerable risk for recurrence.

Studies suggest that low-grade bladder cancer returns in 30 to 50 percent of patients…while high-grade bladder cancer recurs in up to 70 percent of patients.

And so that blue light cystoscopy will give me a chance to have a more effective surveillance to detect any recurrence earlier. {Bump w/} I was glad to do it.