Cancer charity donates biopsy machine to HSA

| 07/10/2014

(CNS): The George Town hospital a $55k CUROS Vacuum Assisted Biopsy machine as a result of a donation from the Cayman Islands Cancer Society (CICS). The machine allows for both ultrasounds and biopsies to be performed at the same time and in a less invasive manner. The procedure can be done on any tumour that is visible to the eye and does not disfigure the breast. The machine uses a needle that is inserted under the tumour which makes an incision and takes a biopsy of the tumour or lump. When the needle is moved around it takes multiple samples and in some cases can actually remove the entire tumour.

The CVAB machine has already, and will continue, to help with early diagnosis of breast cancer, health officials stated.

From the initial visit to receiving the results this process can take about two weeks much shorter than before the CVAB machine was available. Before the donations patients would have to wait for an available time and day for the operating room in order to have the biopsy taken, health officials explained but the CVAB allows for the procedure to be less invasive, without the use of general anaesthetic and is usually completed within a half hour to an hour. CVAB procedure allows patients to return to work the same day.

In the two months that the CVAB machine has been in use, there have been twelve biopsies, of which three were diagnosed with cancer. The CVAB machine allows for faster turnaround between sampling and results, leading to earlier diagnosis. It also provides a more accurate sample and picture with no distortion.

In 2006, the CICS raised funds to form the Cancer Care Fund, which ultimately brought the first digital mammogram machine in the Caribbean to the HSA. Since the fund was established the Cancer Society has been able to donate a camera, a microscope, wet prep set up for PAP smear examinations and now the CVAB. The cost of the CVAB machine was $55,065, all of which was paid for by the Cancer Society with funds from the Cancer Care Fund.

“The teamwork between the HSA and the Cancer Society has proven to making the process at the Cayman Islands HSA more efficient,” said Dr Bogle-Taylor.  “The HSA identifies specific cancer related equipment that is a priority to improving healthcare and when the equipment is necessary, funds from the Cancer Care Fund can be used to make those purchases.  The Cancer Care Fund has also been utilised to purchase a new microscope with digital camera for the HSA laboratory, so pap tests can be performed creating electronic images, which can be used with medical files as needed.”

Mammograms, MRIs and ultrasounds are some of the other tools used in cancer diagnosis. Every time a mammogram is performed, a portion of the medical fee is put towards the Cancer Care Fund which is used for machine upgrades, staff training, and the procurement of cancer related equipment. Every time a woman gets her mammogram at the HSA, she is helping the CICS contribute to the Cancer Care Fund.


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