Life Healthcare’s PET-CT Services
Frequently Asked Questions
Life Healthcare acquired the non-clinical operations of three nuclear medicine units (TheraMed Nuclear) in Gauteng earlier this year as part of its South African diversification strategy.
The acquisition further entrenches our commitment to investing in medical imaging in South Africa, with our capability now extending into nuclear and molecular imaging. As part of this journey, we plan to drive improved accessibility for clinicians and their patients in earlier detection and more accurate treatment planning for cancer patients across the country.
This first nuclear medicine acquisition for Life Healthcare serves to complement the expansion of our Oncology services and furthers the growth in our non-acute business, following our acquisitions of the non-clinical operations of East Coast Radiology and Eugene Marais Radiology.
It complements Life Healthcare’s joint venture with AXIM announced in 2022 to develop two cyclotrons in South Africa, which will develop radiotracers and improve the stability of radiotracer supply locally.
What is nuclear medicine?
- Nuclear medicine is a specialised area of radiology. It uses very small amounts of radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals) to examine organ function and structure to diagnose and treat diseases such as cancer.
What does non-clinical operations mean?
- This means that Life Healthcare has purchased all infrastructure and equipment of the nuclear medicine units and the employees are now employed by Life Healthcare.
- The radiology specialists will continue to provide their clinical radiology services of reading and reporting/interpreting of the imaging scans.
- The scans and reports are sent to your treating specialist to support with making a diagnosis and treatment decisions.
- Healthcare providers such as Life Healthcare are by law, not permitted to employ radiologist specialists and nuclear physicians.
What services are provided?
- Advanced-technology medical scanning services for the detection and treatment of diseases, such as organ dysfunction and cancer. The three units utilise PET-CT and SPECT-CT machines.
What is a PET-CT scan?
- PET-CT scans use a low dose of radioactive nuclear medicine injectables (radiopharmaceuticals) to check the activity or metabolic processes of cells in different parts of the body.
- They can give more detailed information about cancer or abnormal areas compared to X-rays, CT scans or MRI scans alone.
- PET-CT scans are important to help clinicians determine if a tumour may be cancerous, whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body or how well treatment is working.
Find more information on PET-CT scans here.
What is a SPECT scan?
- Similar to PET-CT, sister modality SPECT is a nuclear-medicine imaging technique, which uses a radiotracer and a special camera to create 3D pictures of internal organs. SPECT provides a three-dimensional picture of both physiological and pathological processes.
- These 3D images can be superimposed on an anatomical image from a CT scanner, providing information about lesion location, the shape and size of organs and tissues, rather than just their function.
Where are the Gauteng PET-CT units located?
Room G3, Midstream Hill Medical Park
Corner of Midstream Hill Boulevard & Godley Drive,
T +27 (0) 12 942 0845 or +27 (0) 76 497 8151
1st Floor, NHC Honeydew
Cnr Christiaan De Wet & Dolfyn St
T +27 (0) 10 007 0734 or +27 (0) 67 308 8555
Ground Floor, Unit 5
Glynn Eden Complex
36 Harrison St
(Opposite Life Glynnwood)
T +27 (0) 10 007 0729 or +27 (0) 71 426 6948
The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a healthcare professional. E&OE. Life Healthcare Group Ltd does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by the reader as a result of the information provided.