QEII to receive best-in-the-world detection tool for neuroendocrine tumours.
Photo: Sharon Needham, patient and advocate, lived with neuroendocrine cancer for seven years without a diagnosis. Today, she is helping to rewrite the story for Atlantic Canadians living with neuroendocrine cancer.
for gallium-68 DOTATATE scan
Sharon Needham had never heard of a neuroendocrine tumour until she was diagnosed with one at 42 years old. Among the hardest to detect cancers, neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) mimic a range of illnesses and can appear almost anywhere in the body. Sick for more than seven years, Sharon experienced everything from recurring pneumonia, and heart palpitations, to diarrhea and skin rashes. Her symptoms were often attributed to asthma, stress and food allergies.
Sharon is the face of the campaign that inspired donors like you to bring the world’s best NET detection tools to the QEII. A radioactive tracer, gallium-68 DOTATATE is injected into patients before their PET-CT scan. It shows tiny traces of cancer and its response to treatment. Approved by Health Canada in 2019, gallium-68 DOTATATE was previously only accessed through clinical trials in other provinces. The QEII team that has worked for this innovation, including Dr. Daniel Rayson (middle) and Dr. Steven Burrell (right), can’t wait to provide much needed answers to patients who will receive this scan locally for the first time.
As a patient, every time you have a symptom, you panic and wonder, ‘is my cancer back?’ – so having a tool that can prove that it’s not is probably the biggest relief you can have. Alternatively, if it shows that cancer has returned, it allows your care team to immediately put the best treatment plan in place – saving precious time for patients. – Sharon Needham
QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation
5657 Spring Garden Road
Park Lane Mall, Suite 3005
Halifax, Nova Scotia
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