The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) will open its Nuclear Medicine Facility in 2024.
Dr. Abdiel Galicia, medical specialist, said that this facility will improve the total management of patientsfor a short period of time.
Galicia said that the building is already constructed but they are still waiting for specific medical equipment to arrive. Among the machines in the facility is a radioactive iodine scan which can detect remains of cancer cells in the body after surgery. The test is beneficial for papillary and follicular types of thyroid cancers. He said thyroid cancer is the 7th common cancer in the country, the top being breast cancer.
The (hospital management) has already identified and approved medical specialists and consultants who will run the facility. Once the medical equipment will be available the facility will be operational.
Galicia stressed that while waiting for the facility to be fully operational, thyroid cancer patients are advised to seek assistance from SPMC to avail of the radioactive iodine (RAI) through the Cancer Assistance Fund of the Cancer Institute.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wenilito Clapano of SPMC reminded the public that thyroid disease may be uncommon but it is not unusual and if detected early, mortality rate is reduced.
Clapano said that in the 5-10 years survival of thyroid cancer patients, about 90% will be saved if detected earlier.
“Once we get to know it, once we get to detect it, we can treat these cases,” Clapano said.
“The earlier we can detect it the better the prognosis,” he added.
The symptoms of thyroid cancer include feeling of lump through the skin on the neck, close-fitting shirts becoming tighter than usual, hoarseness of voice and difficulty in swallowing.
The SPMC is supporting the observance of Thyroid Cancer Awareness during September of every year.
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