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06 Jan 2015

Submission to MSAC on PET scans

The results of my CT did not provide my oncologist with enough information to determine the best treatment for me. I had a PET scan which clearly shows metastasis in my shoulder. My doctor was then able to recommend the most suitable treatment for me. This has given me real peace of mind. – Marlene, BCNA member with secondary breast cancer

BCNA has made a submission to the Medical Services Advisory Committee* (MSAC) supporting an application to list positron emission tomography (PET) scans for the evaluation and staging of particular types of breast cancers on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

A PET scan is an imaging technique, which can provide important information for health professionals. While PET scans are not appropriate for all women diagnosed by breast cancer, PET scans can be an important part of the evaluation and staging of locally advanced, regionally recurrent and secondary breast cancer.

Currently, PET scans cost women between $900 and $1,000. This cost means that some women are not able to afford a PET scan or that the scan adds to the significant financial burden they experience.

*The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) advises the Australian Minister for Health and Ageing on evidence relating to the safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new medical technologies and procedures. This advice informs Australian Government decisions about public funding for new, and in some cases existing medical procedures.

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