The Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has said nuclear techniques remain a crucial option in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers.
The Institute stated that nuclear techniques such as radiotherapy uses high doses of radiation to destroy cancerous cells and relieve pains of cancer patients.
This was made known by a medical physicist at RAMSRI, Dr. Francis Hasford, at a webinar organised by GAEC in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) on the theme: The Use of Nuclear Imaging Techniques in Cancer Management.
According to Dr. Hasford, nuclear imaging machines are used to take pictures of the organs of patients to identify the cancerous spot. “The patient is then referred to therapy where they are placed under a device that emits high energy radiation for treatment” he added.
Dr. Hasford indicated that the Global Cancer Statistics (GLOBOCAN) of the World Health Organisation revealed that over 15,000 Ghanaians died of cancer in 2020. “Breast cancer accounted for almost 18% of all cancer cases reported in Ghana, followed by liver cancer (14%), cervical cancer (11%), and prostate cancer (9%), ” he added.
He used the occasion to encourage the public to go for regular health checkups for early detection of cancers to save lives.
The Director General of GAEC, Prof. Samuel Dampare in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Director-General of GAEC, Prof. Dickson Adomako, said that existing data shows that cancer kills more people than tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria combined.
He stated that GAEC showed its commitment to the fight against cancer by facilitating the establishment of the National Centre of Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and the Oncology Directorate of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
“These health facilities were a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Health of the Government of Ghana and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” he added.
Prof. Adomako was glad that cancer patients in Ghana and the sub-region have benefited greatly from these two facilities.