Genitourinary Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment Options

The Genitourinary Multidisciplinary Clinic at the Lifespan Cancer Institute provides care ranging from the screening of high-risk individuals, to the most innovative treatments, including advanced radiation oncology services, robotic surgery, and access to investigational therapies.

Services offered at the Genitourinary Multidisciplinary Clinic include:

The Miriam Hospital is one of only three hospitals in New England to offer blue-light cystoscopy, a minimally invasive, leading-edge technology that improves bladder cancer detection.

Cancer of the urinary bladder (bladder cancer) is the fifth most common cancer in Rhode Island. Early detection of bladder cancer increases the chances of successful treatment. One way bladder cancer can be identified is by using cystoscopy. During a cystoscopy, the patient is sedated and the physician is able enter the bladder without making any incision and inspect the lining closely for any abnormal growths or suspicious areas that may indicate bladder cancer.

How It Works

A solution is delivered into the patient's bladder about an hour before the blue-light cystoscopy procedure. During the procedure, the doctor inserts a long thin tube and uses white light to examine the bladder, and then switches to blue-light. When the equipment is switched to blue-light mode, other hard-to-see tumors that may be present become more visible. These tumors stand out against the normal bladder tissue, making it easier for doctors to identify and remove them.

How Blue-Light Cystoscopy Is Different

Compared to the commonly used white-light cystoscopy, blue-light cystoscopy offers improved detection of tumors, so that your doctor can see and remove them. By being able to detect more tumors, blue-light cystoscopy can result in better disease management, because there is less risk of tumors being missed during the procedure.

Bladder Cancer Facts

The most common risk factors for bladder cancer include:

  • Cigarette smoking: Smoking is the number-one cause of bladder cancer. About 50% of men and 30% of women who are diagnosed have a history of smoking
  • Chemical exposure: Those who have been exposed to certain chemicals, especially in jobs where chemicals made from arylamines are used, are at increased risk for bladder cancer. These jobs include working with dyes, textiles, tires, rubber, leather, and petroleum. Those who work as painters and hairdressers are also at increased risk.
  • Age: The risk for bladder cancer increases with age. About 9 out of 10 people with bladder cancer are over age 55
  • The most common symptom of possible bladder cancer is blood in the urine. If you experience this symptom, please contact your doctor immediately.