Detecting all of the cancerous growths has been a big challenge, but now one local hospital has a new tool.
Milton Wohl has spent most of his life in doctor's offices as a doctor and an orthopedic surgeon.
But for the past 8 years, he's been on the other side, as a patient with bladder cancer.
Fortunately, in Dr. Wohl's case, the malignant cells are only on the lining. Still he needs treatments and repeated tests.
His latest test was done using a new diagnostic dye called Cysview. It goes inside the bladder to allow Dr. Leonard Gomella and his team from Jefferson Kimmel Cancer Center to see what the human eye can't.
Under a regular biopsy light, doctors can only see so much, but turn on the blue light, the Cysview allows doctors to see more.
"About 20 to 30% of the time, it will find high-grade, or more aggressive cancer that we will miss with the naked eye," explains Dr. Leonard Gomella.
Dr. Gomella believes catching those sooner will mean less drastic measures down the line, such as having to remove the whole bladder.
"I think this is going to make a tremendous difference to many patients," Dr. Gomella said.
In Dr. Wohl's case, it located two cancerous areas which probably would have been missed.
He will need several new rounds of treatment, but he's confident he will continue to beat cancer.
"Here I am," said Dr. Wohl. "It's been 8 years, and you can't knock that."
Cysview was approved by the FDA, but because Cysview has to be used with a special light system, only a few hospitals have it.