.Mr Mladenovic_participant

As part of the Engage Community Forums, we offer the audience a chance to ask the panel of speakers questions about GI cancer.

Here are a few questions and answers from the Engage Community Forum in Gawler (SA),  on 27th October 2015.

1. Question:

What is a PET scan and why is it used?


A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is a safe type of imaging test when used appropriately. It uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to look for disease in the body.

A PET scan can detect cancers based on the different metabolic activity of cancer cells compared to normal cells.

PET scans are frequently used with CT scans to improve accuracy in diagnosis, using the structural information from the CT scan and the function information of the PET scan.

2. Question:

What is PBS?


The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is managed by the Department of Health and is available to all Australian residents who have a current Medicare card.

Under the PBS, the government subsidises the cost of medicine for most medical conditions.

Click here to find out more.

3. Question:

Is there any cost to take part in an AGITG trial?


No. Costs to participate in clinical trials are funded by the organisation conducting the clinical trial, usually with funding support received from government agencies such as the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Cancer Australia; or from untied sponsorship from the pharmaceutical industry; or from charitable funds raised by organisations such as the GI Cancer Institute and Cancer Council.

4. Question:

If two people are living in the same house, eating the same diet and exposed to the same environment, how can one of them develop a GI Cancer and the other doesn’t?


The development of cancer is very complex and different for each person. There are many elements that can contribute to the growth of cancerous cells and the ability of your body to defend against them. There is still much to discover about the causes of GI cancer, and whilst environmental factors such as diet, exercise and smoking can increase your risk of cancer, it is your genetics and family history that control how your body will be able to repair and defend against the damage caused.

If you have a question for the experts, let us know at  engage@gicancer.org.au  and we’ll ask the panel at our next Forum.

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