GE boosts oncology, cancer care with technology

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GE boosts oncology, cancer care with technology

By Adekunle Yusuf

To reshape the future of oncology to deliver quality cancer care in Nigeria and other West African states, the GE Healthcare has unveiled its latest solutions towards supporting the goal of patients getting earlier diagnosis and treatment without the need to travel abroad.

Also included in the solutions package is a specialised oncology centre, opening this year, which will produce radioactive tracers for PET/CT scans to help deliver enhanced diagnostic care for people across West Africa.

This ambitious an international conference held in Nigeria. The GE team said it is focused on bringing cutting-edge technologies to the region to increase accessibility and provide clinicians with faster access to information and help increase quality of care, particularly in oncology.

In Nigeria, cancer leads to about 72,000 deaths yearly. It is estimated that there are 102,000 new cases of cancer yearly, with breast and cervical cancers as the two most common types, accounting for about 50 per cent of all cases. The fact that the disproportionate number of women is impacted by cancer is what GE said it has forced its focus on oncological diagnosis and care in Nigeria.

Over the years, GE Healthcare has worked to support both public and the private sectors across the West African region, supporting the development of Nigeria’s healthcare infrastructure and bringing the latest solutions to the region, including anatomic imaging of CT and PET technologies that allows for the visualisation of cellular metabolism activity. With the technology, clinicians will be able to evaluate earlier whether a treatment is working, and tailor an appropriate therapy regimen according to patients’ unique needs, bringing a new level of healthcare technology in the fight against cancer.

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This technology puts together images with high-quality, detailed information about the structure and function of the organs and tissues in the body, putting together a complete picture of what is happening inside the body. This has become essential technology for clinicians to look at how certain diseases progress and develop.

One of the partners GE Healthcare is working with is MeCure Healthcare Limited, a leading healthcare provider in Nigeria. The partners will open a first of its kind Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography PET/CT system in West Africa later this year. The Cyclotron technology that will be available at the center is a large particle accelerator that spins protons as fast as 20 per cent of the speed of light (132 million mph).

Agents are developed to light up a patient’s cancer or Parkinson’s disease markers during a diagnostic scan. With this technology, MeCure aims to conduct PET/CT exams for over 3,000 patients a year. This will support the government’s goals of making screening services and early detection of cancer available for more Nigerians, and improving access to quality, cost effective, and equitable diagnostic and treatment services for cancer care.

“This project will contribute to better healthcare for people across West Africa, and in Nigeria in particular. The strong will of the team allowed us to move forward with this partnership with GE Healthcare, which supports our vision in improving the diagnostic and treatment experience of our patients, to provide high quality and accessible clinical and outpatient services to the people of Nigeria,” Samir Udani, chairman, MeCure, enthused.

“Our purpose is to improve lives in moments that matter, and this is an example of partnering to help deliver sustainable and accessible precision care to all. The patient is the center of everything we do and we are proud to continue providing technologies that can help detect cancer early, reducing overall mortality rates and improving quality of life. By providing our innovative PET/CT technologies in Nigeria, we are delivering on our commitment to make a positive impact in the communities in which we live,” Eyong Ebai, General Manager, GE Healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa, said.

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