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Article on PET Scan Shortgage in UK


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PET scanner shortage for cancer patients highlighted in UK

Patricia Reaney

Reuters Health

Posting Date: November 17, 2003

Last Updated: 2003-11-17 12:43:14 -0400 (Reuters Health)

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has just a fraction of the number of hi-tech cancer scanners as Germany and the United States and needs to more than double the quantity to keep pace with the tide of patients every year, experts said on Monday.

"The UK lags behind the rest of Europe and the US in the provision of PET," Peter Cardy, the chief executive of the charity Macmillan Cancer Relief, told a news conference.

While Germany has 80 PET scanners and there are more than 160 in the United States, Britain has just half a dozen - mainly in London.

Cardy said at least 15 more PET scanners were needed within the next five years to deal with the 38,000 lung cancer patients diagnosed each year.

"PET scanning is very important in determining what happens to patients with cancer," said Dr. Fergus Gleeson of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital in southern England.

The lack of machines, which cost about 1.5 million pounds ($2.5 million) each, means that the lucky few who get the scans must wait six weeks on average.

The charities and health experts are pushing the government to establish 15 PET sites in Britain within the three to five years and to fund training programs for staff to run them.

They are also calling for a national strategy and timetable for the development of PET facilities to be presented to parliament as soon as possible.

"It is important that a coordinated policy to implement PET scanning in England occurs to enable patients with cancer access to this very important scanning technique," Gleeson added. ($1=.5919 Pound)

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Hebbie, very interesting article. I had no idea these were in such short supply here. This concerns me. I can see why they are.$ 2.5 million is alot of money. This is a good example where our Govt. needs to increase some funding to get more of these. That 2.5 million seems like way to much money though ! Thanks for the information.


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