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PET-CT scan can detect cancer

World Cancer Day

3 min read

Today is World Cancer Day. Did you even know? Quite possibly not and even so what’s to celebrate? We all connect cancer to the sadness of losing someone dear. But what if it could be a day of reflection and perspective. This will be a way to find some glimpse of hope in all the sadness.

First of all: What is a PET-CT? That is complicated to explain in depth. To say it simply a PET-CT scanner is a clever piece of medical imaging equipment. It is a combination of a positron emission tomography (PET) and a  computer tomography (CT). This gives you unique detail and clarity in your cancer diagnosis. 

Combining these scans enables the doctor to make a more precise diagnosis. Even making it possible to diagnose cancer at an earlier stage. And the earlier you can detect cancer, the better are the chances of curing cancer.

Huge differences in PET units per million population

A PET-CT is a great diagnostic tool, but it is also a very heavy investment. On top, it is as costly to operate. You have the service of both a PET- and a CT-ring. You also need to deal with radioactive consumables. As a result, PET-CT is still not available in the same extent outside, what we would often refer to as, “The Western World”. In most developing economies you find between zero and 0.25 PETCT per 1 million capita (as per WHO).

Reasons for this are plentiful: failing infrastructure, lack of educated personnel, lack of knowledge at the referring doctors and financial constraints. It depends on the specific case, but buying a brand new PET-CT scanner would cost you the in the range of EUR 1 to 2 million.

When buying a USED PET-CT your investment would often be in the range of EUR 200.000-300.000 for a 16-slice and EUR 300.000-500.000 for a 64-slice. 

Many PET-CT models, but not all, have the brilliant ability to be multi-functional. This means you can use it as either as PET, as CT or as combined PET-CT. As such you can change the usage depending on your day-to-day need. This is particularly interesting if you have a somewhat “normal” need for a CT and a minor need for PET. When choosing a PET-CT you can do your routine operations. At the same time, you have the possibility of PET-CT patients 1-2 days a week. 

2005 GE Discovery STE 16 PETCT World Cancer Day

What about World Cancer Day?

All the above is of a technical and financial character. The importance in this context is, that the PET-CT is brilliant when diagnosing cancer. But it is not a possibility for everyone to have access to this type of diagnostic imaging equipment. Making the chances of surviving a cancer diagnosis slimmer in some parts of the world compared to others.

Perhaps in PET-CT more than any other modality you gain a huge advantage when buying pre-owned compared to a new scanner. The reason being the very high entry point on state-of-the-art systems compared to 5-8-year-old systems. 

The question is if having the newest functions and gadgets are need-to-have or nice-to-have? If the first, you should look deep into your pockets and buy a new scanner. If the latter, you are welcome to reach out to FlexRay Medical and talk about the possibilities of buying a used system.

Making high quality used PET-CTs available to more people could be a way to make PET-CT diagnostics more available across the World.

Mads Vittrup

CEO & partner

+4528599829 (cell)

mv@flexraymedical.com