Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi (AKUH, N) has begun conducting the Prostate Cancer PET-CT scan in Kenya.
This is the latest and most advanced scan for evaluation of patients with prostate cancer. According to a statement from the hospital, this is a significant development in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer in the region.
AKUH,N has become the first hospital in sub-Saharan Africa to conduct the Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) PET CT scan which has been available for only a few years and in the most advanced centres in the world. This underscores the Hospital’s reputation as a leading medical institution and teaching hospital in the region, and beyond.
According to the latest WHO data published in 2017 Prostate Cancer Deaths in Kenya reached 2,309 or 0.8 per cent of total deaths. The age adjusted Death Rate is 32.72 per 100,000 of population ranks Kenya 24th in the world.
The most frequent type of cancer across the population was breast and cervical, followed by prostate, esophagus, and types of lymphoma. By gender, the most prevalent cancer in women was breast cancer followed by cancer of the cervix, while among men; top on the list was cancer of the esophagus followed by prostate cancer.
In view of its higher sensitivity, this Scan can identify sites of early prostate cancer spread before they are picked up by conventional imaging modalities. This allows for better treatment options of the disease at a very early stage which has not been possible till now. This is bound to have a major impact on the successful outcomes of the treatment for those with prostate cancer.
“Following advancement in our PET CT Scan technology and growth in the expertise of our radiology and laboratory departments, AKUH,N is now able to produce the radioactive substance required for this scan as well as conduct the test.” Reads a statement from the hospital in part.
Compared to the presently established methods of imaging prostate cancer such as MRI and bone scan, PSMA PET CT scan has a higher sensitivity for identification of sites of prostate cancer spread, be it in the bones or in any other organ such as lymph nodes, liver and lungs. It can be used for this purpose at the initial diagnosis of the disease, during follow-up and when disease recurrence is suspected.
The capacity to conduct this test adds to the expertise of our PET CT Scan and Cyclotron, a technology the hospital acquired in 2018 at a cost of Sh600 million ($5.63 million dollars), becoming the first hospital in the region to do so.
The state-of-the-art technology has improved the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, heart disease and other diseases as it enables physicians to study the body in extraordinary detail, allowing them to diagnose diseases early and plan the most effective course of treatment.