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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS

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Home > News > Boost to cancer detection rates

Boost to cancer detection rates

Posted on Wednesday 1st May 2013
Urology equipment

Urology staff with the new equipment

New urology equipment at West Cumberland Hospital should lead to improved bladder cancer detection rates and faster treatment for patients.

The hospital’s endoscopy unit has installed six new cystoscopes, a new processor, light source and monitor to replace older, much less sophisticated equipment.

The main use of the new equipment is detecting bladder cancer, but it will also be used on patients suspected of having bladder stones, certain types of cystitis, and for diagnosing what is wrong with patients who have blood in their urine.

Consultant Urologist Jaswant Mom explained: “The old scopes used fibre optics, whereas the new ones are high definition video cystoscopes which magnify the image more than 40 times.  They use narrow band imaging (NBI) which enables the easier detection and treatment of bladder tumours.

“This narrow band imaging will facilitate the diagnosis of the earliest, most superficial bladder cancers which previously might have gone undetected. It changes the banding of light it throws out from white light to blue light which enables us to see hidden tumours.”

Urology Oncology Nurse Specialist Brian Walker added: “It is also much better for me as a nurse specialist, carrying out check cystoscopies. This is where a patient has been diagnosed, had a tumour removed, and comes back for a check-up. The new equipment enables me to say with more confidence that the tumour hasn’t returned.”

Improving the detection rate for very small tumours or small recurrent lesions will reduce the need for patients to be brought back into theatre and admitted to hospital, as they can be treated there and then.

The new equipment is also a lot more mobile than before so it can be taken to clinics around the hospital, seeing patients where they are, rather than having to wait until a room is available in the endoscopy unit on Langdale Ward. It also means urology now has its own dedicated monitor, whereas previously the specialty had to share with endoscopy.

Janette Southward, Sister on Langdale Ward, said: “We have seen quite an increase in patients in recent months following two high profile public information campaigns – one on checking for blood in your wee and another to highlight male cancer awareness. This new equipment means we can see more patients more quickly and potentially provide another 400 scopes a year.”

Brian added: “It will enhance our diagnostic service and catch people’s cancer earlier, especially having the NBI. The detection rate will go up, it will mean fewer trips to hospital and fewer inpatient stays.”