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Ceylinco Healthcare offers access to South Asia’s first Digital PET-CT at lower cost

Ceylinco Healthcare Services Limited (CHSL) has paved the way for Sri Lankans to undergo Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans at the Apollo Proton Cancer Centre in Chennai, at a lower cost than available in the private sector in Sri Lanka, even with air travel costs included.

These PET scans offer the added benefit of being Digital PET-CT scans which guarantee higher sensitivity, better image quality and therefore increased accuracy in diagnosis, the Company said.

The Apollo Proton Cancer Centre is the first medical facility in South Asia to have a Digital PET-CT scanner.

As a Medical Affiliate of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited (AHEL) of India, Ceylinco Healthcare is able to offer a package deal which includes a digital PET-CT scan for the patient at the Chennai facility, overnight accommodation at the facility and meals for two. Even with the cost of air tickets for two people, visa fees and airport transfers for the patient and an accompanying person, the total cost would on average be about 8 per cent lower than the cost of getting an analog PET scan in a private hospital in Sri Lanka, the Company said.

PET-CT is recommended to ascertain information regarding the stage of a cancer, so that appropriate management such as surgery or chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be advised.

It is a well-established diagnostic tool for cancer where a radioactive sugar molecule is injected into a patient. Cancer cells metabolise sugar at higher rates than normal cells, and the radiopharmaceutical is drawn in higher amounts to cancerous areas, which in turns aids with the observation and detection of the disease.

PET-CT scans are also increasingly used for monitoring treatment response in lymphomas as they can positively influence the treatment of patients. A study done earlier in a chemotherapy course can help with tailoring the treatment depending on the response, allowing for intensification of treatment or switching over to another regime in patients who do not respond to the first-line chemotherapy.

Furthermore, FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose)-PET scans can help in early detection of tumours particularly in colorectal cancers, head and neck cancer and lung cancer.

Apart from cancer detection, the scan is also useful for the observation of cardiac and orthopedic conditions, observation of infections such as tuberculosis and infected grafts and implants, indicates inflammation and detects problems related to the central nervous system.

Notably, Ceylinco Healthcare has also made Proton Beam Therapy available to Sri Lankans through its affiliation with AHEL.