Nuclear medicine can demonstrate the extent of a disease process based on the cellular function and physiology rather than relying on physical changes in the tissue anatomy. It has particular significance in demonstrating cancer and whether has spread to other parts of the body.
It is particularly used for:
- Cancer diagnosis
- Pre-op breast cancer surgery (Sentinel node)
- Pulmonary embolism diagnosis
- Staging diseases
- Looking for secondary bone lesions and cancers
The Nuclear Medicine department in Basingstoke Hospital has a sole gamma camera which is now technologically obsolete due to its age – 17 years (expected life was 10). Only a limited range of examinations can be undertaken with this old technology.
This project is to replace the obsolete equipment with a SPECT/CT machine. (State of the art technology). The total cost of a replacement for this piece of equipment is £865,000.00 and the North Hampshire Medical Fund will be fundraising in 2018 to contribute £100,000.00 towards it. If this equipment is not replaced, it will mean this service will cease completely on critical failure of the existing machine. This will be catastrophic for many services that rely on this service and also have a significant financial impact as patients will be sent to other organisations, and will lose some complete patient episodes to those organisations.
The existing gamma camera gives us a 2D image. A SPECT/CT incorporates a gamma camera with a CT scanner (low dose CT tube). These two types of scans are then fused together to give a 3D image. This allows for the anatomy as well as the functionality of body systems to be studied and offers increased sensitivity and anomaly detection for a more accurate and detailed diagnosis.