This is the main test used to diagnose bladder cancer. A doctor or specialist nurse uses a cystoscope (a thin tube with a camera and light on the end) to examine the inside of your bladder.
During a standard cystoscopy, the doctor uses white light to see inside the bladder. But, sometimes doctors use a technique called “blue light” cystoscopy or photodynamic diagnosis (PDD).
This involves having a light sensitive drug put into the bladder about an hour before the cystoscopy. The drug is absorbed by cancer cells. During the cystoscopy, instead of a white light a blue light is used to show up the inside the bladder. The blue light makes areas of cancer glow pink so that they can be easily seen.
“Blue light” cystoscopy makes it possible to pick up small bladder tumours and carcinoma in situ (CIS).