HealthWatch: Doctors Using Cancer-Spotting Glasses During Surgery

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Surgeons are now using a new technology that helps them spot cancerous cells while operating on certain patients.

It’s a pair of high-tech glasses used for the first time at Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.

The glasses actually make cancer cells glow blue after the patient is injected with a special dye which specifically targets the cancer cells.The glasses are designed to help surgeons distinguish cancerous cells from healthy ones, making sure no stray tumor cells are left behind during surgery.

Doctors say that because cancer is very difficult to spot, patients usually have to go through a second surgery to cut out cancer cells missed the first time around. However, with this new technology, doctors are hoping that’s no longer the case.

So far, doctors have only used the new glasses on patients diagnosed with breast cancer or skin cancer.

For more on this technology, click here.