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Wednesday, 30 October, 2002, 16:19 GMT
Advanced cancer scanner call
Scanner
The PET scanner can show what stage cancer is at
Cancer sufferers in Scotland should have access to the latest advanced scanner technology, a health body has recommended.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners can tell doctors much more than the conventional Computerised Tomography (CT) scans about what is happening in a cancerous tumour.

At present the only PET scanner in Scotland is used in Aberdeen for research purposes.

The Health Technology Board for Scotland says that NHS Scotland should invest in a multi-million pound PET scanning facility.

Faster diagnosis

The new machine will allow doctors to see the metabolism occurring deep inside the body, showing them how the body actually works.

It will allow speedier diagnosis of tumours because malignant tumours have a much faster metabolism than benign growths.

And it can show accurately what stage the cancer is at, allowing consultants to decide whether surgery will be of benefit.

A PET scanner will take two years to build and a site has still to be identified.

The Scottish Executive said a working group was being set up to develop a PET action plan - and to ensure that Scottish patients who need this type of scanning have access to it as quickly as possible.

In the meantime the Aberdeen centre or other PET facilities elsewhere in Britain may be used for treating some of the 26,000 Scots who are diagnosed with cancer every year.

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 ON THIS STORY
Eric Crockhart reports
"This is a potential lifesaver for some patients."
See also:

09 Jul 02 | N Ireland
07 Oct 99 | Health
22 Aug 00 | Health
07 Aug 00 | Health
23 May 00 | Health
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