Cancer is an uncontrolled and abnormal cell growth that can spread to other parts of the body, and disrupt normal bodily functions. Childhood cancers grow more rapidly than adult cancers because the cancer tissues grow together with the fast-growing tissues of the child. What happens when a child is diagnosed with Cancer?
Cancer may be difficult to detect, but for some types of cancer, the earlier it is detected, the better are the chances of treating it effectively. Imaging techniques – methods of producing pictures of the body – have become an important element of early detection for many cancers. But imaging is not simply used for detection. Imaging is also important for determining the stage (telling how advanced the cancer is) and the precise locations of cancer to aid in directing surgery and other cancer treatments, or to check if a cancer has returned. Radiology and Imaging Technologies have been integrated for detection, diagnosis and treatment. The range of specialised radiological and imaging services includes:
Asia’s first Symbia Truepoint SPECT CT
Asia’s first Symbia Truepoint SPECT CT integrates the functional sensitivity of a SPECT Gamma Camera System with the detailed anatomical information provided by a 6-slice CT system for enhanced tumour detection. SPECT also uses specific isotopes like I131 Octreotide or MIBG to localise small atypical malignancies like Neuroendocrine tumours.
Regarded as one of the most advanced CT systems available today, the Aquilion ONE™ images an entire organ in a single rotation, ensuring greater accuracy and diagnostic confidence. In one scan, it provides our medical team with a complete 3D depiction of an organ, as well as how the organ and blood flow are dynamically functioning or moving. This leap in CT technology lets us perform uniquely comprehensive exams, including functional studies, instead of multiple tests and invasive procedures. For our patients, the Aquilion ONE™ achieves lowered healthcare costs and reduced exposure to radiation dosages.
Since March 2006, we offer patients TomoTherapy® based on the TomoTherapy Hi-ART System. Our patients have benefited from this advanced method of delivering precisely targeted intensity-modulated radiation therapy with minimum impact on healthy tissue. Combining treatment planning, patient positioning and treatment delivery, TomoTherapy® is able to verify the location of the cancer with CT imagery and make adjustments for more effective treatments with reduced side effects.
The PET/CT Machine
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computerised Tomography (CT) are imaging tools that help to pinpoint the location of cancer in the body. The highly sensitive PET scan detects the metabolic signal of active cancer cells and the CT scan provides a detailed picture that reveals the location, size and shape of cancerous growths. Our PET-CT Machine integrates PET and CT technologies into a single device, allowing both sets of data to be obtained at one time. This aids in accurate tumour detection and localisation for a variety of cancers. The PET-CT scan also helps our medical team assess responses to and the effectiveness of treatments and detect residual or recurrent diseases.
Da Vinci Surgical System
The da Vinci Surgical System is a completely intuitive laparoscopic surgical robot that integrates the latest advancements in robotics and computer-enhanced technology. It allows our specialist surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations through a few tiny incisions with increased vision, precision, dexterity and control. This translates to shorter hospital stays, and less pain and risk of infections for our patients. Blood loss and the need for transfusions also are reduced and scarring is expected to be less evident. Overall, the da Vinci Surgical System delivers faster recovery times for our patients.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology uses a strong magnetic field and radiowaves to provide clear and detailed diagnostic images, which in certain areas of the body, are superior to other imaging methods. In cancer imaging, it is especially good for the brain and spinal cord as well as the liver.
Interventional Radiological Services
Interventional Radiological Services involves highly specialised, minimally invasive and highly targeted treatment modalities performed by specially trained radiologists who use image guidance such as CT scans, ultrasounds and angiography, without having to perform surgery. Some treatment modalities for patients with cancer include:
- Chemoembolisation of liver tumours which involves the use of a tiny tube called a catheter to deliver the drugs directly into the artery supplying the tumour and then to block the blood supply to the tumour;
- Radiofrequency ablation, which involves the use of a special needle-like electrode which is inserted, under image guidance, into a tumour through the skin to heat up and kill the tumour by electricity supplied at the frequency of radio waves;
- Image-guided venous access for long term chemotherapy; and
- Image-guided fine needle biopsies.
Mammotome Breast Biopsy System
The Mammotome Breast Biopsy System is a special method which removes tiny abnormalities detected on mammography or ultrasound of the breast, called microcalcifications that can be the earliest sign of cancer. The procedure is fast, causes little pain, and requires no sutures. The suspicious microcalcifications are removed through special needles. Stereotactic (X-rays from two angles) guidance or ultrasound guidance is used to the guide the Mammotome probe for very accurate tissue sampling.
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