OIL 1.16% 42.5¢ optiscan imaging limited

cancer scanner launched

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    article in today's SMH:

    A new cancer-detecting scanner that pinpoints the presence of the disease is now available in Singapore, making the city-state one of the few centres in the world with cutting-edge diagnostic equipment, it was reported today.

    The precision of the scanner, called PET/CT for positron emission tomography/computer tomography, can spot cancers even in the early stages when they tend to be invisible to other diagnostic imaging, The Straits Times said.

    The scanners superimpose the PET image, which shows changes at the cellular level, onto the CT image, which is a detailed map of the body, to allow doctors to pinpoint the growth, said Dr Wong Chiang Yin, chief operating officer at Singapore General Hospital.

    This information, when transferred to the radiotherapy machine, allows doctors "to fire guided bombs instead of carpet bombing the body, so there is less collateral damage", he was quoted as saying.

    The Health Ministry has confined the use of the scanners to certain cancers: lung, colon, thyroid, oesophagus, head, neck and lymphomas. They can also be used to scan the heart and brain.

    The scans are 98 per cent accurate, doctors said.

    The scanners are also used to check for breast and ovarian cancers in Australia and the United States. They can also be used to scan the brain for epilepsy when conventional tests fail.

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