Tenet 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.

A Better Way to Find and Remove Cancer

With Blue Light Cystoscopy, doctors use a cystoscope that has 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, which makes them obvious against the blue of the healthy tissue, so cancer that may have not been previously detected can be seen. Importantly, tumors or lesions can be more precisely and thoroughly removed to try to prevent spreading in the future.

What is Bladder Cancer?

Bladder cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the bladder. Most bladder cancers start in the inner lining of the bladder. Bladder cancer has a high chance of re-occurring, so quality screenings and diagnosis, such as Blue Light Cystoscopy, are very important.

What are the Chances of Developing Bladder Cancer?

The risk of bladder cancer increases with age: people aged over 55 years old make up about 90% of those who have bladder cancer – but the average age at the time of diagnosis is 73, so it is important to talk to your doctor about screening.

Men are 4 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women. In fact, it is the third most common cancer in men and is one of the top ten causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

The most common risk factor is smoking: people who smoke are three times more likely to get bladder cancer than those who do not smoke.

What Are the Symptoms of Bladder Cancer?

If you notice that you have bright red or cola-colored urine, and are concerned it may contain blood, make an immediate appointment with a doctor to get it checked. This is often the most noticeable symptom. You should also make an appointment with a doctor if you have other signs or symptoms that may worry you, such as:

  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Back pain

How do Doctors Diagnose Bladder Cancer?

Cystoscopy is the key diagnostic procedure for bladder cancer. It allows the doctor to see inside the body with a thin, lighted, flexible tube called a cystoscope. Flexible cystoscopy can be performed in an outpatient setting and generally does not require anesthesia (medication that blocks the pain).

Historically, cystoscopes used only white light, but Tenet Health Central Coast is the only healthcare organization in San Luis Obispo County to offer Blue Light Cystoscopy, which is a much more precise way to identify bladder cancer and remove it.

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How Safe is Blue Light Cystoscopy?

Clinical tests have shown that Blue Light Cystoscopy is considered safe. However, since every person has their unique medical history, circumstance and background, it is important to consult your doctor regarding any risks that may exist particular to you.

Most people are ready to go home shortly after a routine procedure. However, this depends on the extent of both your condition and the procedure. Personalized care includes your doctor advising you on how much rest and care you may need after the procedure.

Are There Side Effects From Having the Procedure?

As with any procedure, it is important to speak with your physician if you are concerned about any effects after the procedure. Side effects of both blue light and white light cystoscopies are generally temporary. They may include bladder spasms (the need to urinate more frequently), bladder pain, discomfort or stinging while urinating and blood in the urine. Rare side effects may include difficulty urinating until swelling from the procedure goes down, a mild infection that is usually treated with a standard course of antibiotics and hypersensitivity reactions to the Cysview medication.

We Want to Help You Remove Bladder Cancer Completely

Our skilled healthcare team is committed to providing expert care so you can live a healthy and fulfilling life. Being able to accurately detect and precisely remove cancer tumors or lesions for testing leads to fewer recurrences of bladder cancer – and the information from the tests help create the best possible care plan going forward. Our surgeons perform Blue Light Cystoscopy procedures with the utmost caution while other healthcare professionals attentively offer the guidance and support you need.

Contact your doctor’s office today if you have any risk factors or symptoms. The earlier the detection, the better chance of stopping cancer.

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