Cancer Scans 'Reduce Risky Operations - Dream Health

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Friday 1 April 2016

Cancer Scans 'Reduce Risky Operations


Cancer Scans Can Reduce Surgery

Researchers from the University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick had discovered that cancer scanners could reduce the need of a surgery for checking if cancer treatment is successful. A study suggests that utilising a scanner instead of a scalpel could save hundreds of thousands of cancer patients from risky operation.The study had been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The positron emission tomography-computed tomography or PET-CT. according to the study tends to pick up cancer cells to find out if the treatment is effective. Prof Hisham Mehanna from the Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education, or InHANSE at the University of Birmingham informed BBC News website that `cancerous cells tend to hid among the dead cells, with PET-CT one can call them out and find out if they are alive or not.

He further added that using this new technology could save patients having a overwhelming operation and identifies those that need the operation instead of giving it to everyone.Dr Mehanna also mentioned that after treatment, the remaining cancer cell tend to play something similar to `hide and seek’. He added that `the main focus of this study was patient outcomes and avoiding unnecessary surgerythough there is a cost saving to be made also’.

An Improved Option

Scanning would reduce the chances of surgery to determinate visually if the growth has disappeared. The study was conducted on 564 patients and showed that 80% of them could avoid surgery by scanning and only around one in five of the patients needed the procedure. Doctors generally tend to check the head and neck tumour growth after chemotherapy and radiotherapy by a three hour operation.

However, the research team discovered that the scanning and surgery technique’s survival rates essentially remained the same. These rates are due to the positron emission tomography computed tomography that utilises a radioactive dye which is picked up by quickly dividing cancer cells. This enables the doctor to see if any of the head or neck cancer seems to be active without surgery. However not having to go through risky operation is not the only benefit PET-CT tends to offer. It also seems to be an improved option since it can save recovery time, money as well as prevents disfigurement owing to nerve damage which the operation could cause.

Kinder Treatment for Head & Neck Cancer

UK’s researcher, Arnie Purushotham stated that this was an important study and if long term follow-up confirms these results, this imaging procedure would result in kinder treatments for patients with head and neck cancer. She also informed that there can also be occasions to expand this kind of approach to the other types of cancer as well as probably save money for the NHS.

George Freeman, Life Science Minister had commented that `this exciting trail has the capabilities of making a difference to the lives of people with head and neck cancer, which means that they may not have to go through an extremely stressful medical procedure’. The team are of the belief that this system can help people all across the world, particularly those who may not be in a position to pay the present approach that tends to cost around £1,492 or AU$2,799 for each patient.

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