|Medical marvel for cancer patients|
|Monday, 08 December 2008|
By Sandun A Jayasekera
The world’s latest cancer treatment equipment identified as the ‘Linear Accelerator’ costing Rs.760 million was yesterday commissioned by the Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva at the Maharagama Cancer Institute (MCI), Cancer Hospital authorities said.
MCI director Dr. Kanishka Karunaratna said the high-tech machinery, that replaced the Cobalt machine earlier used for cancer treatment, was the first of its kind to be installed in South Asian region.
He said the machine releases a beam consisting of a high dose of non toxic energy that targets the cancerous cells with 100 per cent accuracy without affecting the surrounding organs or cells.
Dr. Karunaratna said the treatment which lasts for about six to seven minutes was given under general anesthesia, with the cancer patient after treatment being able to walk away fully cured.
“The risk of exposure to radiation by doctors and support staff is minimal as the machine is housed inside a specially designed building with up-to-date safety measures in place,” Dr. Karunaratna said.
Health Minister De Silva speaking after the commissioning of the new machine said incidents of cancer was rising not only in Sri Lanka but throughout the world.
“It is quite distressing that cancer has become one of the major health problems in the world second only to AIDS. Despite many countries in the world including Sri Lanka recording impressive progress in preventive and curative health care cancer patients keep increasing,” he said.
The Minister said the initiative taken this year by the Health Ministry with the assistance of the World Cancer Institute at Leon in France to screen female public servants including teachers over the age of 35, for cervical and breast cancer has paid dividends.
He said early detection has helped them obtain prompt treatment for cancer.
“The commissioning of this new high-tech machine is a tremendous boost and a turning point for cancer treatment in the country. It is commendable that the government has allocated large sum of money funds for the sake of cancer patients while prosecuting a war and fighting a terror campaign,” Minister De Silva said.
Ministers Dinesh Gunawardana, P. Dayaratna, and Ministry Secretary Dr. Athula Kahndaliyanage were present at the ground-breaking ceremony.
Caption – Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva watching a patient being treated by the Linear Accelerator Machine after it was commissioned. Picture by Pradeep Dilrukshana.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 July 2009 )|
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