May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month in Canada. Among the estimated 80,000 Canadians living with bladder cancer in 2022, more than 12% were diagnosed within the last year. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the estimated annual number of new bladder cancer cases worldwide is projected to grow by over 60% from approximately 620,000 cases in 2022 to nearly one million cases by 2040. Mortality due to bladder cancer is also predicted to grow to nearly 400,000 deaths by 2040. The projected epidemiological trends highlight the importance of detecting bladder cancer at the earliest stages to arrange suitable treatments.

A patient may be suspected of having bladder cancer when abnormal symptoms related to urination present themselves, which typically include haematuria (blood in the urine), pain or burning sensations, and increased frequency of urination. One of the ways to screen for bladder cancer is by cystoscopy, a procedure in which a type of endoscope called a cystoscope is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder to visualise and check for any abnormal growth. Suspected areas are then sampled via biopsies to provide a definitive diagnosis of the indication.

According to GlobalData’s Medical Intelligence Center, the Canadian cystoscopes market is forecast to approach $39m by 2033. The global cystoscopes market is expected to increase to more than $2bn by 2033, with the top three largest markets being the US, China, and Japan, together making up approximately 45% of the global market. The overall bladder cancer market is forecast to grow primarily due to the increasing number of cystoscopies being performed because of the increasing number of ageing patients who exhibit symptoms of bladder cancer. Other indications that require diagnosis by cystoscopy include urethral cancer, upper urinary tract cancer, and neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction.

The cystoscopes market leaders are a mix of large global medical device manufacturers, namely Olympus, Hoya (Pentax), Karl Storz, and Stryker. GlobalData forecasts this market to continue to be dominated by these companies until the end of the decade, given their strong presence globally and history of manufacturing quality products. While the cystoscopes market is well established, R&D for improved designs and safety features will continue. This is due to the challenging nature of completely preventing any incidents of cross-contamination with reusable cystoscopes between patients following sterilisation processes. Seeing this as an unaddressed opportunity, the Danish company Ambu launched the world’s first single-use cystoscope in 2020, which has already disrupted the overall cystoscopes market. By eliminating any risk of cross-contamination and potentially lowering the cost per procedure by using single-use cystoscopes, more companies will likely follow in Ambu’s footsteps and focus on manufacturing their own single-use colonoscopes within the next decade.