Nuclear medicine, a tool for early diagnosis of prostate cancer – El Heraldo de Chihuahua

Dr. Luis Vargas Rodriguez, a specialist in nuclear medicine who graduated from the University of Veracruzana and UNAM, explained that molecular imaging is a powerful tool for diagnosing and determining the progression of prostate cancer, allowing for greater accuracy.

During his participation in the Nuclear Medicine Forum, which was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Chihuahua, he spoke about this tool, which allows operations and diagnoses of various diseases, by evaluating circular operations, through the injection of a radiopharmaceutical substance, and images obtained from a gamma camera.

To interpret these images, it is necessary to use software that must be purchased from abroad, because it is not available in Mexico; With this software, you get review, processing, co-recording and cloud storage of images.

It is worth noting that in order to apply molecular imaging technology in prostate cancer, we work with a team of specialists and use radiopharmaceuticals made in Mexico, thanks to research conducted over several years and in which Dr. Luis Vargas had an important role. sharing; This medicine is approved by health authorities.

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He explained that the preparation for this test or technique is somewhat complicated, as it must be very specific and precise in the measurements, formulations, and times at which the said medicine must be boiled in a specialized cabinet.

Moreover, the quality control must be very high in order for the images obtained to be good.

When a patient requests an appointment for molecular testing, a pre-consultation is performed to be able to ask about his prostate cancer, prostate antigen and other aspects.

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If recurrence is suspected, other studies are also needed to find out what treatments the patient has undergone, symptoms, comorbidities, etc., to adjust the patient's clinical picture and obtain a good prognosis.

In this study, it is not necessary for the patient to come on an empty stomach; You are only asked to eat a light breakfast and drink enough fluids, and you are asked to empty your bladder before the study.

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To carry out the procedure, the patient is called, for example, at 8 am in nuclear medicine, interrogated and vital medical information is taken.

Half an hour later, the radiopharmaceutical is applied, which is an intravenous injection that does not cause side reactions; However, if this happens, for safety reasons, the patient is kept in the observation room.

If the person starts the procedure at 8:00 AM, more SPECT images are taken by 11:00 AM and radiographs are taken at 12:30 PM, so the studies are completed by 1:00 PM.

In this technique, it is very important to pay attention to the patient's position, so that the staff is always aware of it.

The specialist explained that the patient is placed in a “gamma chamber” with a double detector that revolves around the patient, and it is necessary for the patient to maintain the same position during the studies.

Finally, these studies are analyzed by the specialist who will determine the sites of prostate cancer infiltration.

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