Seeing cancer with blue light - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Seeing cancer with blue light

78 year old Lina Lemon of Detroit was suffering from an embarrassing but common problem... Incontinence.

"Just couldn't hold it when it get started it just go out everywhere," said Lemon.

Her daughter, Shirley Scott took her to the doctor.

"mom had been experiencing what we thought were bladder infections, but they were not," Said Shirley Scott.

According to Doctor Ranko Miocinovic, a urologist, that's not uncommon

The tip off is often an abnormal amount of blood in the urine.

"In certain instances sure it is a urinary tract infection it can be treated very easily but if the patient continues to have microscopic blood in the urine and symptoms I do think they warrant evaluation," said Dr. Miocinovic.

Initially, doctors suggested aggressive treatment.

"The first doctor wanted to do take out the bladder take it out and I told him no ill wait for the second opinion," said Lemon.

That's when they saw Doctor Miocinovic. He suggested a different route, treating the cancer with chemotherapy directly in the bladder then rechecking it with a new tool.

"They told me it was a light that could detect the cancer cells and that's what built up our you know that's what made us want to try it," said Shirley Scott.

"Some cancers aren't obvious to the naked eye, so doctors use a special compound that sticks only to the hidden cancer cells, just like in CSI when an investigator uses alternative light sources to see blood or other evidence. When these cancer cells are seen through the special blue light their color changes and they glow or fluoresce uncovering the invisible killer, said Dr. Frank McGeorge.

Using the blue light, the cancer lights up pink allowing doctors to target it directly.

Lina is grateful she avoided having her bladder removed.

Experts say if you have recurrent unexplained blood in your urine you should get it checked out.   The blue light treatment isn't perfect for all cancers, but patients should talk to their urologist to see if it's an option for them.

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