Affordable nuclear medical treatment for Malaysians by 2016

KOTA BARU, Malaysia - Malaysians can look forward to a state-of-the-art medical treatment using nuclear technology - at an affordable rate.

This will be possible after the High Capacity Cyclotron Centre in Bangi, the first such centre in the region, is completed in three years.

National Nuclear Agency director Datuk Dr Muhammad Lebai Juri, who disclosed this, said the RM240million (S$92.5 million) centre with a 30 MeV capacity would produce radioisotopes to treat ailments like brain and bone cancer.

He said only Japan and South Korea in Asia had employed such technology for medical purposes.

Dr Muhammad said cyclotron was used for medical imaging, radio diagnostics and production of radioisotopes that were injected into patients to detect and cure ailments.

"Radioisotopes or radioactive substances being produced now are limited to detecting and curing cancers like breast and lymphatic cancer and this costs RM7,000, not inclusive of other treatment costs.

"Wealthy patients undergo such treatment overseas. When the centre here is completed, Malaysians will be able to get such treatment at an affordable price," he told reporters after officiating the 36th Seminar on Medical Imaging here yesterday.