Tenet Health Central Coast is the First in SLO County to Offer Blue Light Cystoscopy

Jul 21, 2022

Advanced Technology Shines a New Light in Cancer Detection

blue-light-cystoscopy-300x200Tenet Health Central Coast is proud to announce that it is the only healthcare organization in San Luis Obispo County to offer Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview, a proven and innovative approach to treating bladder cancer.

While other cancers, such as lung, prostate, pancreatic and breast cancers are more well known, because of their higher incidence rate, bladder cancer is a significant concern in the United States as it is at a higher rate than the world average. Not only is bladder cancer over four times more common in men than women, and is the third most common cancer in men in the United States, it is one of the top ten causes of cancer-related deaths in the U.S.

Moreover, bladder cancer is a costly, potentially progressive disease for which patients often have to undergo multiple cystoscopies due to the high risk of recurrence. The recurrence issue created an urgent need to improve the existing diagnostic procedures.

Typically, when symptoms and blood tests suggest bladder cancer, doctors perform a visual inspection of the interior wall of the bladder using a cystoscope — a thin tube with a light and video camera on the end — in a procedure called a cystoscopy that uses white light.

However, as the name suggests, with Blue Light Cystoscopy, doctors use a cystoscope equipped with both white and blue light. Before the procedure, a special contrast solution – not a dye – is inserted into the bladder. This makes the cancer cells glow bright fluorescent pink in blue light and stand out against the blue of the healthy tissue.

This creates a dramatically more precise improvement of the visualization and detection of the cancer lesions. A biopsy of any abnormal areas is taken to confirm if there is cancer in those spots.

Using this advanced technology helps physicians find instances of bladder cancer, especially small or flat tumors, more quickly and efficiently than before. Importantly, it also offers enhanced removal of bladder tumors when they are discovered. Cancer cells that may have not been detected may be identified. Additionally, the cancerous lesions that are found can be more thoroughly removed to try to prevent spreading in the future.

In fact, the specialized team of physicians that can provide the procedure at Tenet Health Central Coast’s Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center discovered a previously-undetected lesion in one of the first procedures performed in the county. Being able to detect and resect for biopsy leads to fewer recurrences of bladder cancer and has the added benefit of improved information to use to create a care plan going forward.

The importance of this cutting-edge technology was confirmed late last year, by Dr. Patrick Lewicki of Cornell University, which found that the BLC is underutilized, despite the procedure being a recommended guideline to reduce recurrence of cancer.

The impact of the pandemic has delayed doctor visits, which has led to a decrease in screenings and a large impact on cancer screenings and treatment in particular. Unfortunately, that delay in screening and diagnosis means that cancers have advanced further and there is more difficulty in treating them. That is why Blue Light Cystoscopy is so important to help detect cancer accurately and early.

At Tenet Health Central Coast, our physician teams using innovative technology are here to help.

Find a Doctor

Need a doctor for your care? 

Sign Up for Health Tips

Get our advice and upcoming events about weight, pain, heart and more.