Madras High Court Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari on Tuesday inaugurated a ‘breast-exclusive’ PET scan facility at Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre (MMHRC) in the presence of Health Minister Ma. Subramanian and Chairman of MMHRC S. Gurushankar.
According to a press statement issued by MMHRC, the PET scan from Spain known as ‘mammography with molecular imaging’ (MAMMI) was designed exclusively for detecting breast cancer. It can detect tumours at the earliest possible time and stage, when it is as small as 2 mm, thus paving the way for early identification and treatment.
Breast cancer was one of the commonest cancers affecting women. One in 28 women are at risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime. It is often detected late and contributes to higher rates of morbidity and mortality. PET scan is the most advanced screening method available.
It can detect the emergence of cancerous cells earlier than a mammogram (an X-ray picture of the breast) or a CT or MRI scan. However, the hospitals and the diagnostic centres only have whole-body PET scans. In contrast, MAMMI is a breast-dedicated PET scan.
While a whole-body PET scan can detect tumours when they have grown beyond 10 mm, MAMMI PET can do so even before a person develops a mass or lump beyond 2 mm.
Early identification gives doctors the possibility of curative treatment and pre-empts mutilating surgeries and unnecessary adjunctive therapies. The MAMMI PET can also tell how patients respond to chemotherapy. MAMMI PET is simple and painless, said the press release.