VENICE, Fla., June 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- RTR Urology, a Division of 21st Century Oncology, the largest integrated cancer care network in America, is now offering its patients state-of-the-art treatment using "blue light cystoscopy," an innovative technology that allows doctors to more accurately diagnose and treat bladder cancer, the seventh most commonly diagnosed cancer in the nation. Patients are treated at Venice Regional Bayfront Health (VRBH).
"Bladder cancer is difficult to detect and is a complex disease with a high rate of recurrence," said Dr. Carl Kutke, a urologist at RTR Urology and an independent member of the medical staff at Venice Regional Bayfront Health. "An inaccurate diagnosis can result in incomplete treatment, which may lead to serious complications and a lower chance of survival for patients with potentially aggressive tumors. Blue light cystoscopy represents an important advancement in diagnostic technology, enabling more accurate diagnosis of superficial non-muscle invasive bladder tumors compared to the standard technique."
According to the American Cancer Society, in 2018, more than 80,000 new cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed in the United States, and up to 50% of patients will have their bladder cancer recur—the highest recurrence rate of any cancer. Early signs of bladder cancer include blood in urine (both microscopic and gross hematuria) as well as changes in urination, including having to go more frequently or pain/burning. Although these symptoms are more frequently associated with urinary tract infections, it is important for a urologist to rule out more serious causes.
Diagnosing bladder cancer usually begins with laboratory tests to narrow down the source of symptoms. If cancer is suspected, office cystoscopy and urine cytology are likely the next steps.
With blue light cystoscopy, the doctor instills a photosensitizer agent into the bladder via a catheter and waits at least one hour for tumors to absorb the agent. Then the doctor examines the bladder lining with white light cystoscopy, followed by blue light cystoscopy. Under blue light, (fluorescence) cystoscopy, the fluorescense agent makes abnormal cells in the bladder cancer glow bright pink. It is then easier to see and either biopsy (excise a piece or pieces of the lesion) or remove the lesion entirely. The excised tissue is then examined to determine if it is malignant. This new technology may help decrease the rate of progression from superficial to muscle invasive or metastatic bladder cancer.
"By providing our patients access to this groundbreaking technology, we are furthering our commitment to advancing patient care," said Dr. Thomas Ruane, a urologist at RTR Urology who performs this procedure. "At RTR Urology, patients with known or suspected bladder cancer can now undergo diagnostic procedures performed by physicians who have been specifically trained in the use of this innovative technology."
About 21st Century Oncology 21st Century Oncology is the nation's largest integrated cancer care network. Operating as one dream team in the crusade against cancer, the company carries out its mission with the mindset of "fighting for patients like an army and caring for them like a family." 21st Century Oncology employs or is affiliated with 1,000 physicians globally to deliver the most advanced, integrated and compassionate cancer care in personal and convenient settings. Headquartered in Fort Myers, FL, 21st Century Oncology operates 164 treatment centers, including 127 centers located in 15 U.S. states. In addition, the company operates 37 centers located in seven countries in Latin America. For more information, please visit https://www.21co.com.