With an aim to detect cancer at its primary stage, the Nuclear Medicine Institute (NMI) is going to install a PET/CT scanner from early January next year.
Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET/CT) scanner, which has been imported from the USA in early December at the cost of Tk 20 crore, is being installed at NMI, located on Dhaka Medical College premises.
Prof Dr Sanowar Hossain, director of the NMI, said, "The modern equipment can diagnose cancer at the early stage. In this case, patients can begin treatment to prevent the disease from spreading further."
The initiative will also bring hope to cancer patients who seek low-cost treatment, he said.
At present, some hospitals have the equipment, said Dr Sanowar, adding that the new addition to NMI would also boost up the cancer treatment in the country.
Asked about the cost of treatment, he said, "At the NMI, the cost for the diagnosis will be much lower compared to other hospitals."
The NMI, which was established in 1961 in a tin-shed house adjacent to the Dhaka Medical College (DMC), has now turned into a specialised institute.
In 2016-17, about forty thousand patients availed treatment at the NMI, which is equipped with modern technologies, said Sanowar, adding that as many as 79 types of diseases including kidney, heart, hepatobiliary, brain, thyroid and liver could be diagnosed at the institute.
Dr Nurul Islam, chief scientific officer of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission that owns the NMI, said they are trying to improve diagnosis methods by introducing modern technologies, and reduce diagnosis cost.
PET/CT scanner is being installed by keeping that in mind, he added.