octreotide scan – another nuclear war


Hats off to the Takasusi- Habib Hospital ERT Team for their kindness!


The only solution for me to live longer was surgery – removal of the pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PNet). The ultimate victory for the battle of Nutella.

However, the medical team needed to ensure that before I go under the knife. My body was prepared for it.

I undergone a PET scan to check my digestive system if they are functioning well. However, the result was inconclusive, which means they need to investigate further how the tumor affected the nearby organs.

Another nuclear war was in the horizon.

I was advised to do an octreotide scan- also known as somatostatin receptor scintigraphy, a non-invasive test used to evaluate the body for the presence of neuroendocrine tumor cells.

This test was performed in the nuclear medicine department of Habib Hospital in Takasusi branch.

The goal was to identify and pinpoint the location of benign or malignant (cancerous) neuroendocrine tumors, (in my case the islet cell tumor of the pancreas) prior to surgery. The test could identify both primary cancer and cancer that has metastasized (spread) to other organs.

I avoided food for six (6) hours before the procedure.

Upon arrival in the holding area, the examiner injected radioactive octreotide into my cannula.

One hour after the injection, I laid on a table under a large camera that records the gamma rays emitted by the radioactive material.

Looked like the same machine used during the PET scan, but this time it was like a sci-fi movie machine where it rotates so fast to get the images of the body.

About 2 hours after the procedure, I drank plenty of fluids to help my kidneys excrete the radioactive octreotide.

The result was favorable to undergo the surgery.

But, the odds were not on my favor.

Side story:
The Khurais branch emergency team failed to pick me up on time from Takasusi. I waited for 3 to 4 hours after the procedure. The reason was traffic and unavailability of ambulance. Called the assigned person but to no avail. 

My wife courteously requested the Takasusi emergency team to assist us and to bring me back to Khurais where I was admitted. 

I would like to thank them for accommodating us graciously. Their goodness was contagious. 

When I arrived at Khurais, there were four ambulance on standby at the emergency area.

Ironies of all irony. 

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