Mater Dei receives Gamma Probe
The Action for Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) presented a donation of a Gamma Probe to Mater Dei Hospitals Imaging Department. The probe, which assists significantly to the enhanced identification and management of lymph nodes associated with breast tumors, will further help in the management of breast cancer.
Minister for Health, the Elderly and Community Care Joe Cassar, thanked ABCF for this donation and other previous ones which result in better patient care. He said that the Gamma Probe is very useful because limiting the number of nodes removed, should result in less lympheodema of the respective arm of the patient undergoing surgery (for the removal of breast tumour and the associated lymph nodes). Lymphoedema is an expected consequence of the removal of lymph nodes associated with a breast tumour. It may be a significantly debilitating consequence for the patient and we know that MDH services work very hard towards addressing lymphedema. The Minister said that the hospital MDH already has such a probe, which however needs to be serviced and repaired at regular intervals leading to gaps in service provision. The exemplary generosity of ABCF at donating another probe will now ensure that more consistency in the service provided.
Minister Cassar praised and thanked the breast care nurses and physiotherapists contributing to the breast care interdisciplinary team for their outstanding efforts to educate and empower the patient in dealing with lympheodema. He also thanked ABCF for its valuable and exemplary contribution which help Mater Dei Hospital optimize the quality of service that it seeks to offer to patients, which is a common aim. He also thanked Ms Helen Muscat, founder of ABCF for her courage, and most of all, kind heart and determination.
ABCF Co-Founder Ms Esther Sant, who presented the probe, said that ABCF is dedicated to lobbying but also to generate further awareness about prevention. ABCF is also committed towards contributing at increased patient care as well as research and development. Ms Sant said that such donations help in providing the patient with an improved quality of life.
She thanked all the professionals involved is delivering such care for their continuous dedication and commitment. Ms Sant also thanked Ms Helen Muscat whom she described as a person who “radiates positive energy.” Ms Muscat is currently receiving further care at Sir Paul Boffa Hospital.
Consultant Dr Anthony Samuel and Surgeon Mr Joe Debono explained that following the administration of radio-active dye into the tumor area, this probe enables professionals from the radiology department, to accurately detect the sentinel lymph nodes which are closest to the tumor in the breast which hypothetically are the lymph nodes or group of nodes draining a cancer.
They explained that the accurate identification of the sentinel lymph nodes in turn allows for a more precise and contained (limited) excision and removal of lymph nodes during breast surgery.