The Pulse: Cooperation to Cut Cancer Mortality in Pakistan
In Pakistan, nearly 150,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year and 101,000 die from the disease. Cancer is the second leading cause of death among non-communicable diseases in the country, with Pakistanis having an almost 12% chance of getting cancer before age 75.
What’s more, the actual burden of the disease is likely to be much greater, as many more people who suffer from cancer, especially those in rural and remote parts of the country, are likely to never have been diagnosed.
In this context, the Nuclear Medicine, Oncology and Radiotherapy Institute (NORI) plays a key role in working to reduce mortality rates as an advanced cancer diagnostic and treatment facility. Established in Islamabad by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission in 1983, the hospital operates through three departments: Nuclear Medicine, Radiotherapy & Oncology, and Medical Physics.
More than 20,000 of its patients have been screened in the Nuclear Medicine Department using GE Healthcare’s high-quality imaging technology. The Infinia II dual-head Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) system helps doctors in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of patients, and their goal of bringing down cancer mortality rates.
‘With a disease like cancer, there isn’t any room for mistakes. We need reliable and accurate diagnostic technologies that can help us make effective treatment decisions for our patients and so improve their chances for survival and quality of life. The Infinia II helps us to do just that every day,’ Dr. Javaid Irfan, Director, NORI.
Because the hospital is the first institute in the country recognized by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (CPSP) to provide training for Fellows of College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS) in nuclear medicine and radiotherapy, GE Healthcare technology is also contributing to the development of a new generation of oncology specialists in the country.
GE Healthcare will continue to work with NORI and other health-care institutions to provide high quality cancer care by delivering its broad portfolio of advanced imaging solutions. These steps are part of GE’s broader commitment to support Pakistani partners to Build, Move, Power and Cure for more than 50 years now.