Nuclear medicine specialist Romero Tonini says the test is essential for deciding which treatment will be used
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If, on the one hand, breast cancer is the most common malignant tumor in women in most parts of the world, according to the National Cancer Institute (Inca), prostate cancer is the one that most affects men, after skin cancer.
The earlier an invasive tumor is detected and treatment is started, the more likely it is to be cured, experts say.
For the correct staging – extension of the disease – and the evaluation of response to treatment, nuclear medicine has been an ally in the fight against breast and prostate cancer, according to nuclear medicine specialist Romero Tonini, from Mednuclear.
“It acts as a partner in the fight against these two types of tumors. It helps to determine the extent of the disease, observing its location and spread, contributing to the correct staging. The examination is fundamental for the decision of which treatment will be used”explains Romero.
In the case of breast cancer, he explained that, for the diagnosis of tumors, there are several types of tests. “However, in the search for the search for lymph nodes (lymph nodes) affected and the presence of distant metastasis, nuclear medicine plays a big role,” he said.
One of the most used tests in nuclear medicine is the intraoperative investigation of the sentinel lymph node, which is the first node responsible for lymphatic drainage in the mammary region.
“It is through the results of this research that the doctor will decide the best conduct indicated for the patient”, highlights.
As with breast cancer, identifying a prostate tumor at an early stage is essential for the best success of treatment against the disease. It is the most common cancer among men, after skin cancer.
At Mednuclear, one weapon that has been used to detect the disease is PSMA (Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen) PET/CT.
It is a procedure that performs a kind of positron emission tomography, where it is possible to make a metabolic evaluation associated with computed tomography.
“It is a procedure that allows the evaluation of the entire body of the patient through positron emission tomography and computed tomography, combining functional information with the morphological image”explains Tony.
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More than 7 thousand procedures
Considered the only clinic in Espírito Santo that performs PET/CT, that is, positron emission tomography, Mednuclear placed the state as the fourth among the Brazilian states that perform the exam.
Since 2007, the clinic has performed more than 7,000 procedures, benefiting and contributing to the reduction of cases of malignant tumors and the prevention of various diseases.
“We have been doing this test since 2007 and to date we have performed more than 7,000 procedures, among the most diverse clinical indications”explained nuclear medicine specialist Romero Tonini, from Mednuclear.
For the specialist, the high number of procedures performed shows how much the company cares about the health of Espírito Santo.
“The company’s objective is always to contribute to the health of the capixabas and that’s why we went in search of new technologies that aim to contribute to the treatment and prevention of diseases”points out Tonini.
Counting on modern equipment, called PET/CT (a kind of positron emission tomography), the medical team at Mednuclear clinic has the possibility of performing the most accurate diagnoses, meaning that, in some cases, the oncological patient is benefited with less invasive therapy.
“The tests use safe, virtually painless and non-invasive methods to provide functional information that other diagnostic tests cannot”explains Tony.
- It is a medical specialty that uses safe, practically painless and non-invasive methods, and uses radioactive materials for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
- It uses minute amounts of radioactive substances (radiopharmaceuticals) as a tool to access the functioning of living organs and tissues, performing images, diagnoses and also treatments.
- It is a recognized specialty in Brazil.
What is nuclear medicine for?
- She works in several areas such as cardiology, oncology, hematology, neurology, among many others. It can be applied both in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.
- With the use of substances, nuclear medicine is able to diagnose several diseases, which include pulmonary embolism, acute infections and myocardial infarction, cancer, dementia, among others.
- Nuclear medicine can also define the type and extent of cancer in the body, which will help the oncologist to decide on the most appropriate therapeutic approach for each case.
- As a form of treatment, radiopharmaceuticals can help fight hyperthyroidism or treat thyroid cancer, bone pain and also cases of specific tumors.
What are the most used treatments?
- It is a technology that uses radiopharmaceuticals and acts as a tool for the diagnosis and staging of diseases, and can also record the response of a given tumor to surgical or chemo-radiotherapeutic treatments.
- The most common exam is scintigraphy which, in the case of myocardial, shows where transient lack of blood in parts of the heart muscle, that is, ischemia, causing angina and can lead to infarction or even cardiac arrest.
- In Espírito Santo, the only clinic that offers PET-CT is Mednuclear, where, since 2017, more than 7,000 procedures have been performed.
Are there risks of using nuclear substances for health procedures?
- Contrary to what one might imagine, the amount of radiation used in nuclear medicine is small, and it is even safer than taking a pill for a headache.
Source: Brazilian Society of Nuclear Medicine (SBMN).
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