Monday, 29 November 2010
A new technique which makes bladder cancers fluoresce bright pink - and therefore much easier to spot - is now available for the first time in
at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend. (with video) Wales
Blue Light Hexvix Cystoscopies are carried out in around 30 centres in the rest of the
. Earlier this month the first procedures in Wales were successfully carried out in Bridgend. UK
Consultant Urological Surgeon Rhidian Hurle, is delighted with the results. He said:
“Because the cancers fluoresce under blue light they are easier to see, and in particular the smaller tumours which can be difficult to spot with standard white light are easier to detect.
“This means that during the actual operation the surgeon is able to see small cancers much more easily and remove them at the same time as the more obvious, larger cancers.”
”It is a fantastic product as both a diagnostic and treatment tool.”
The new procedure has many benefits for patients, not least that their chances of needing follow up surgery can be reduced by 20-40 per cent. In addition, the blue light shows up another type of cancer which can be difficult to see, carcinoma in situ, which if missed and untreated can lead to a poorer prognosis.
Targeting these bladder cancers early also reduces the cost to the NHS because fewer operations are subsequently needed and patients are less likely to develop more serious, aggressive disease.
The procedure works by using a special drug which is instilled into the bladder an hour before surgery and which makes the cancer cells glow pink or red under blue light.
in 2007, 623 patients were diagnosed with bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is the 4th most common malignancy among men and the 8th most common among women. Wales
Mr Hurle explained that previously published data has shown that Wales has highest crude rates of bladder cancers in the UK, with 30.3 per 100,000 males and 12 per 100,000 females. The average for the
is 24.3 and 9.0 respectively. UK
The new service is presently available as a pilot to patients in the Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot areas in ABM, but it is hoped to roll it out across the Health Board area shortly. So far nine patients have been treated with the blue light system.
Patient Mr Richard Edwards, aged 80, from Cefn Glas in Bridgend, was the first to have the blue light procedure, in the Princess of Wales Hospital earlier this month. He said:
“I had the operation on the Tuesday, was discharged home on the Wednesday and I was shopping in Tesco’s on Friday. I feel fine.
“I think this is a good procedure because if the growths can all be seen and removed, then that’s got to be progress.”
Picture: from left, Sue Rowland, Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Richard Edwards, patient and Rhidian Hurle, Consultant Urological Surgeon.
To view a video of the Blue Light procedure in action, and an interview with Mr Hurle and Mr Edwards, click here.