Cancer treatment improved by scanner

THE diagnosis, management and monitoring of cancer on the Border is about to be vastly improved with the purchase of a new scanner.

The PET-CT scanner, a joint initiative between Regional Imaging — Border and Albury Wodonga Health, will be operating from the Albury Base Hospital at the end of this month.

Regional Imaging radiologist Andrew Kong said the new scanner would show if cancers had spread to elsewhere in the body and improve the monitoring of treatments.

“It will mean we can perform whole body scans, and improve accuracy and determining how advanced cancers are,” Dr Kong said.

Dr Kong said Regional Imaging — Border, part of the I-MED Network, invested in the most up-to-date machinery.

“The equipment here is equal or better than that in the city,” Dr Kong said.

“The standard of care in Albury is very high.”

The announcement was made yesterday on International Day of Radiology.

“It’s really just there to recognise the contribution of medical imaging on patient care,” Dr Kong said of the day.

The theme for this year’s campaign is lung health, which has improved greatly in the past five years with advances in technology.

Dr Kong said the use of CT and CAT scans in place of X-rays for the treatment of lung conditions, such as cancer, infections or fibrosis, was less invasive, decreased radiation doses and increased early diagnoses.

“You would see evidence of asbestosis much earlier than that on an X-ray,” he said. “It helps the doctor decide their treatment but also to monitor it to see if it’s working, whether it has improved or not.”

Dr Kong said he was keen to help his patients stay on top of their lung health by being vigilant with symptoms.

“Lung disease and other issues don’t just affect smokers, which is what we tend to think,” he said.

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