In this medical video learn how four tiny drops of urine may one day replace invasive and uncomfortable bladder exams for bladder cancer patients.
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Jennifer Matthews: Paul Smith loves retired life with his wife Sue and dog Ronan. Paul Smith: I just want to keep doing what I'm doing. I'm very happy with that. Jennifer Matthews: But five years ago, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Since then, his cancer has come back five different times. Paul Smith: The great news was that it had not invaded my bladder wall at all. Jennifer Matthews: But he'd rather do without the frequent tests to detect when the cancer returns. Those tests, called Cystoscopies, use a thin device inserted right into the urinary tract. Edward Messing: Most patients, after they've undergone it, will say, well, I'd rather not go through that again. Jennifer Matthews: Soon they may not have to. This urine test called NMP22 catches bladder cancer with four drops of urine. It detected 99% of cancers when used along with Cystoscopy compared to just 91% found with Cystoscopy alone. Edward Messing: The NMP22 test may pick up a tumor we missed and then we go back in and look to be sure it was there and we didn't see it the first time. Jennifer Matthews: The urine test caught life-threatening cancers that Cystoscopies missed. Edward Messing: You not only save the patient from suffering but you have a much better chance of having the individual be cured. Jennifer Matthews: Paul has a cystoscopy every three months. He welcomes the new urine test. Paul Smith: On a scale from one to 10 is I would say, from an endurance standpoint, it's half and the Cystoscopy is a 10. Jennifer Matthews: And there's one more perk: the urine test is just one-fifth the cost of a Cystoscopy. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.