ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Mayo Clinic is using blue light technology to better detect the seventh most common cancer in Minnesota. This blue light technology was approved by the FDA in 2010, but Mayo Clinic was involved in the clinical trials before that. It is now a common practice.
According to Mayo Clinic College of Medicine Associate Professor of Urology and Radiology, Dr. Lance Mynderse, cancer in the bladder is not easy to detect.
“Technically it’s not something that people know about. They don’t feel it. They don’t know that there’s something wrong unless it gets to be pretty far along,” said Mynderse.
The most advanced warning, says Mynderse is blood in the urine.
“If you look at the data, the highest risk or the age that most people are detected is some time in their sixties, but it’s possible to be in your thirties all the way until your nineties,” Mynderse said.
He says smokers, or previous smokers, are some of those at the highest risk for bladder cancer.
Standard detection technology uses a white light to look for tumors while blue light technology allows Mayo Clinic to be more efficient in detection and care.
“This is a means of looking at it with a different colored light and giving a medication into the bladder that’s absorbed by the tumors and then fluoresces bright pink,” Dr. Mynderse said.
The technology allows doctors to see the tumors better because they are otherwise flesh colored, according to Dr. Mynderse.
“It is a means of identifying the tumors so that you can treat them better. So it can be done to identify the margins, the edges, the small invisible legions that you would not see with white light, and therefore you have a better chance of getting all the tumors out the first time around,” said Mynderse.
Dr. Mynderse says bladder cancer has a high chance of coming back, many times because the first treatment did not detect all of the tumors.
The hope with this new blue light technology is to lower that risk of the cancer returning.
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