GUWAHATI, Jan 5 � The Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI), Guwahati, today added a new facility -- a dual-head gamma camera machine with SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) in the Department of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging of the institute.
This will make it possible to perform therapeutic procedures like radio-iodine treatment for thyroid cancer, pain palliation with bone metastases for the first time in the North-east.
Health Minister Dr Nazrul Islam who formally inaugurated the facility said that one more cancer hospital would be started at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital by April 2015 and both BBCI and GMCH would work in close collaboration.
The state-of-the-art machine has been commissioned at a total cost of Rs 2 crore with grants-in-aid from the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. With the gamma camera machine, various radio-isotope scan can now be performed to detect spread of cancer which is essential for staging.
In addition to its application in oncology, the gamma camera can perform various procedures in cardiology, neurology and endocrinology, nephrology, gastroenterology and hepatology.
�This facility being the first of its kind in the public sector hospitals in the State, will benefit a large number of patients. Therapeutic procedures like radio-iodine treatment for thyroid cancer, pain palliation with bone metastases can also be performed for the first time in the North-east. Earlier, patients had to go outside for such treatment,� Director, BBCI, Dr A Kataki said.
Dr Kataki added that a Cancer Detection Centre (CDC) had also been started at the Rani Community Health Centre on January 3 while a radiation medicine centre would be established next year, for which construction of the building will be started this year. The second unit of the guest house for patients at a total cost of Rs.3.9 crore is in progress which is likely to be ready in the beginning of next year.
Dr Kataki thanked the health minister for his maiden visit to the institute and called for placement of rotating interns from the Gauhati Medical College at Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute for orientation in oncology. The health minister visited various other facilities in the institute and expressed his satisfaction.
The health minister who was the chief guest at the function, also released a manual on nuclear medicine for medical professionals. In his address, Dr Islam acknowledged the significant growth of the institute in recent times. He said that the high incidence of cancer was a cause of concern and it might not be possible for only one Institute to take the entire burden of treatment for cancer patients, and that was why another cancer hospital would be started at the GMCH by April.
Prof UC Sarma, Vice Chancellor of Srimanta Sankardeva University of Health Sciences, Assam released the annual report of the institute for the year 2013-14. In his speech as guest of honour, Prof Sarma emphasized on innovation in medical research and community awareness for prevention and early detection of cancer.