SPONSORED CONTENT -- (StatePoint) Bladder cancer is the fourth-most diagnosed cancer among men in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, men have a one in 27 chance and women have a one in 89 chance of developing this cancer during their lifetime.
As with any serious illness, being equipped with the right information after a bladder cancer diagnosis is important. Here five things you should know about detection, removal and surveillance.
1. The importance of improved detection
You probably had a cystoscopy procedure during your diagnosis or during a transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT). While performing the cystoscopy, your urologist likely looked inside your bladder with a small scope using regular white light for illumination. There is also an enhanced cystoscopy procedure called Blue Light Cystoscopy, which uses both white and blue light. This can reveal additional tumors that are either difficult or impossible to see in white light. If you don’t know whether you had this procedure, ask your doctor.
2. The value of enhanced visibility
Without the use of Blue Light Cystoscopy, it can be more difficult to identify the margins of certain tumors or smaller tumors may be missed. In fact, some flat tumors, called carcinoma in situ (CIS), are typically invisible with white light alone. While Blue Light Cystoscopy may not detect all malignant lesions, when urologists have a better view of tumors, they’re able to more completely remove them.
3. Impact on your care
A more complete resection of tumors means that your urologist has removed all the cancer that can be seen using both white and blue light. Less cancer in your bladder improves the chances that subsequent treatment will be successful. Also, the more tumor samples that can be tested by the pathologist, the better chance there is of more accurately understanding the stage and grade of your cancer. The guidelines that doctors use to make treatment decisions are based on cancer stage and grade, so more confidence in this determination can mean a greater chance of success with appropriate treatment.
4. Surveillance is critical
Historically, bladder cancer has the highest recurrence rate (between 50-80%) of any form of cancer. This can be due to missed tumors and incomplete surgeries because not all cancerous tissue is easy to see under white light. This is one reason that surveillance visits are of the utmost importance. It is vital to keep checking in with your doctor as directed. If you visit an office that uses Blue Light Cystoscopy, you’ll be able to see on the monitor whether any areas of your bladder indicate potential cancer. Small tumors might be removed right there in the office, while more advanced tumors could mean needing another TURBT procedure in the operating room. Whatever the results, both patients and urologists report having greater confidence in the examination when using enhanced imaging techniques.
5. Find out more
After a bladder cancer diagnosis, it’s important to be aware of the latest technologies available in disease detection. Ask your urologist about whether you were diagnosed using Blue Light Cystoscopy. To find where Blue Light Cystoscopy is available near you, visit https://rebrand.ly/Find-BLC-4things. This message was sponsored by Photocure, Inc.