Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Body scanner may revolutionize diagnosis of cancers

Body scanner may revolutionize diagnosis of cancers

NEW DELHI: A state-of-the-art body scanner has been set up at Apollo Hospital which detects cancerous cells quickly and may go a long way in timely selection of treatment for cancer patients, officials at the hospital said Wednesday.

According to Dr Prathap C Reddy, chairperson of Apollo hospitals, the newly-installed machines does simultaneous scan through positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) providing a detailed image of affected areas. "It can help in early diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, particularly cancer in the skull base and spine region, which would earlier require undergoing separate tests - PET-CT and MRI," he said.

"The total expenditure a patient has to incur for the whole test will be around Rs 55,000 which is much lesser than what it would take to do the treatment abroad," Dr Reddy added. Delay in diagnosis is one of the major causes for cancer deaths in India. Experts say that with timely and correct diagnosis, a majority of cancers can be completely cured or treated.

Dr Amar Nath Jena, senior consultant, department of molecular imaging and nuclear medicine, said that as MR has no radiation, this machine can significantly reduce the overall radiation dose, making it safer for paediatrics and patients undergoing repeated studies for therapy monitoring. "The advantages of PET MR system would be its superior quality images with better soft tissue contrast, leading to better localization and characterization of lesions," he added. The doctor said that other than cancer PET MR is poised to play a greater role in understanding various disease processes in cardiology and neurological diseases like Alzheimer's. Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit is expected to officially inaugurate the new diagnostic facility at the hospital on February 16, officials said.

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