Early diagnosis of bladder cancer now possible

October 4th, 2008 - 1:41 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS) GE Healthcare Friday evening announced the launch of a new technique for early diagnosis of urinary bladder cancer.It announced a new diagnostic agent called Hexvix (hexaminolevulinate) at the 9th Asian Congress of Urology being held in New Delhi.

Bladder cancer comprises 4.7 percent of all cancers in the human body in India and is the second most common genito-urinary cancer as per the Delhi Cancer Registry 2002. This could be only the tip of the iceberg as cancer incidence in India is largely unknown as the registries are covered in urban centres only.

Medical research has tried to address the difficulties in diagnosing bladder cancer and this research eventually led to the development of Hexvix fluorescence cystoscopy. This technique involves instilling a photosensitizing agent - Hexvix into the bladder via a catheter leading to identification of malignant cells that get illuminated with blue light and emit red fluorescence.

“Early and accurate detection is the key to save lives in any disease conditions, especially killer diseases like cancer. Hexvix is a proven early detection agent for Bladder Cancer and we are happy to introduce this in India today” said Sarvadeep Sachdev, director, Medical Diagnostics Division, GE Healthcare South Asia.

Throwing light over the causes of bladder cancer, Prof. Narmada Prasad Gupta, chairman, Department of Urology at AIIMS, New Delhi says, “Smoking has been found to be a common factor in 55 percent of the bladder cancer cases, of which 45 percent had smoked for more than 20 years, as per our 1985 study. Apart from cigarette smoking, beedi and hukka smoking is more prevalent in India and in male population”.

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