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    Who Gets Bladder Cancer? You Might Be Surprised

    Bladder cancer can happen to anyone. Experiencing symptoms? Talk to your doctor.
    Bladder cancer can happen to anyone. Experiencing symptoms? Talk to your doctor.

    (StatePoint) When you think of a bladder cancer patient, you may picture an older man. However, bladder cancer can affect many types of people — from celebrity golfers and reality TV stars you see in the news, to everyday people of all genders and ages.
    The story of Mary Beth M., who was diagnosed with bladder cancer at just 28 years old, is an important reminder to pay attention to unusual symptoms even if you are young and otherwise healthy. She saw a urologist after experiencing symptoms for about three months. “When I first saw blood in my urine, I didn’t really think much of it. I felt like it was probably a UTI or my menstrual cycle. I was pretty busy with life and, quite frankly, I kind of let it go. And then one day I decided I couldn’t anymore. So, I made an appointment with a local urology practice and they scoped my bladder and could immediately see visible tumors.”

    The Path to Diagnosis
    Bladder cancer can happen to anyone. If you’re experiencing symptoms, such as blood in your urine or pain during urination, don’t ignore them or feel embarrassed to talk to your doctor about them. Earlier diagnosis can give you more treatment options.
    To diagnose bladder cancer based on urinary symptoms, physicians will compile a medical history and perform urine tests and cultures to check for the presence of blood, infection or other abnormal cells. If cancer is found, more tests will be done to help find out the severity of the cancer.

    Available Tech, Improved Outcomes
    A bladder cancer diagnosis is scary, but today’s advances in technology can help improve detection and better inform subsequent treatment decisions.
    Historically, cystoscopies — a standard medical procedure that allows a urologist to look directly into your bladder for suspicious tissue — have been done using white light. However, a state-of-the-art technology called Blue Light Cystoscopy uses a special imaging agent (not a dye) to make cancer cells in the bladder glow bright pink under blue light. This enhanced visibility can help improve the detection of tumors and potentially lead to more complete resection (called a TURBT). A more complete TURBT can lead to fewer residual tumors and better disease management decisions. Ask your urologist for more information on Blue Light Cystoscopy and don’t hesitate to get a second opinion.
    “When I still had persistent disease after six months of treatment, I transferred my care to a National Cancer Institute-designated bladder cancer center. This was my first experience with Blue Light Cystoscopy, which helped the urologist identify tumors when they were just starting and allowed for earlier treatment,” says Karen S., another bladder cancer patient and long-time oncology nurse who has been disease free since 2014. “I’m so grateful for the expertise at the bladder cancer center and for blue light technology. They played a huge part in allowing me to keep my bladder.”
    To learn more about the imaging agent Cysview® (hexaminolevulinate HCl), and where the Blue Light Cystoscopy procedure is available, visit cysview.com. If you’re experiencing symptoms of bladder cancer or have been recently diagnosed, it’s important to remember that not only is bladder cancer very treatable, but the latest technologies are vastly improving the detection and management of the disease.
    Important Risk & Safety Information for Cysview®
    Cysview is an optical imaging agent used to detect non-muscle invasive bladder cancer in patients suspected or known to have lesion(s) on the basis of a prior cystoscopy, or in patients undergoing surveillance cystoscopy for bladder cancer. Cysview is not a replacement for random bladder biopsies or other procedures used in the detection of bladder cancer.
    Anaphylactoid shock, hypersensitivity reactions, bladder pain, bladder inflammation (cystitis), and abnormal urine tests have been reported after administration of Cysview. The most common adverse reactions seen in clinical trials were bladder spasm, trouble urinating, discomfort when urinating, frequent urination, blood in the urine, and bladder pain.
    Cysview should not be used in patients with large amounts of blood in their urine, any known allergy to Cysview or any derivative of aminolevulinic acid, or porphyria, a condition that means you already have high levels of porphyrins in your body. No specific drug interaction studies have been performed.
    Click here to see Full Prescribing Information for Cysview.
    This article is sponsored by Photocure, Inc. Mary Beth M. and Karen S. are Photocure Patient Ambassadors who receive compensation for their time.
    Photo Credit: (c) fizkes / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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