‘Arroyo bone exam can be done here’
Ailing former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has another option she can consider to get an assessment of her condition other than a bone biopsy, according to an official of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA).
PMA governor Dr. Leo Olarte said the radio isotope scan or bone scan was a ready alternative, adding that it was noninvasive compared to a bone biopsy.
Like a bone biopsy, a bone scan can also detect a bone tumor or cancer and determine if a cancer that began somewhere in the body—such as the thyroid, breast, lung or kidney—had spread to the bones.
Olarte, also an orthopedic surgeon, said bone scans were readily available in the country.
“In my personal opinion, a bone biopsy is just an option but we have the radio isotope scan that can take the place of the bone biopsy,” said Olarte. He said he would highly recommend a bone scan which would not require Arroyo to undergo an operation.
“I would prefer the radio isotope scan because it is noninvasive,” reiterated the PMA official.
In a statement Monday, the PMA, an umbrella organization of doctors in the Philippines, also maintained that the country had many metabolic bone experts who could “competently” treat any patient, including Arroyo.
These metabolic experts belong to the Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism, a specialty component of the PMA which is also the proper body to declare whether or not there exists a metabolic expert physician in the country, said Olarte.
Arroyo, 66, is suffering from what doctors describe as a cervical spondylosis, a degenerative condition of the cartilage and bones. She underwent three surgeries between July and August to realign her spine. Later, she was also diagnosed to be suffering from hypoparatyhroidism.
Earlier, a spokesperson for Arroyo said her treatment depended ultimately on a bone biopsy, which the family wanted to avail of abroad.
Olarte said both the procedures—bone biopsy and bone scan—can be done in the Philippines. “[Bone biopsy] is a regular operation,” he said.