Doctors at Nepean Hospital will have a clearer view of prostate cancer and patients will have better health outcomes with the arrival of a new diagnostic machine – one of only a handful in Australia.
The ‘Percunav’ machine combines high resolution MRI scans with live ultrasound images to help doctors see the prostate and tumours in 3D.
A generous donation by the NSW Parliamentary Lions Club helped the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District purchase the $150,000 machine.
Professor Mohamed Khadra, Head of Urological Surgery, says the Percunav will revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer which is the most common cancer in men.
“The Percunav gives us a live view of the prostate so we can precisely guide a needle to take targeted biopsies of a suspicious mass. Previously, several biopsies would need to be randomly taken across the prostate but we couldn’t be sure we sampled the tumour,” says Professor Khadra, who is also Head of Surgery at Sydney Medical School.
Professor Khadra says knowing the exact location of the cancer may lead to new treatments.
“It’s hoped in the future we could treat prostate cancer by guiding a needle into the cancer to deliver drugs or an energy source, like radiation, that destroys the malignant cells. This would minimise damage to surrounding tissue and reduce the need for the prostate to be removed which can have serious side effects,” he says.
NSW Parliamentary Lions Club President, Stephen Bromhead MP, says the bipartisan organisation is thrilled to help make a difference in the lives of the people of NSW.
“In the last four years we have raised $700,000 for a number of charities across the state,” says Mr Bromhead. “I would like to acknowledge the generous support of Dick Honan from Manildra Group for his significant donation which helped to purchase the Percunav machine.”
Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith welcomes the enhanced diagnostic service.
“With prostate cancer affecting 1 in 8 men by 85 years of age, the new Percunav machine at Nepean Hospital will provide better detection, management and ongoing care for people with prostate cancer,” says Mr Ayres.
Prostate cancer kills over 3,000 men each year in Australia, more than the number of women who die of breast cancer.