Robot Technology Aids in Education

Dr Alejandro Granados from Imperial College London demonstrates the robotic rectum technology,.jpg

Dr Alejandro Granados from Imperial College London demonstrates
the robotic rectum technology

Excerpts from Medical News Today contained below.

Technology seems to be moving at lightening speed these days. From computers that fit in our hand, to robotic learning tools. It’s a progressive time in our history.  This past July, scientists at Imperial College London developed a prosthetic buttocks and rectum to help train doctors and nurses to perform prostate cancer exams.

The idea is the device helps train doctors and nurses to perform rectal examinations by accurately recreating the feel of a rectum, as well as providing feedback on their examination technique. The device contains small robotic arms that apply pressure to the silicone rectum, to recreate the shape and feel of the back passage.

Rectal examinations are necessary to diagnose conditions such as prostate cancer and involve a medic placing their index finger into the anus, and feeling the prostate gland.

 

Generally, cancerous prostates tend to feel hard and knobbly, but learning exactly what a potentially cancerous prostate feels like can be difficult, explains Dr Fernando Bello, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London: “Internal examinations are really challenging to learn – and to teach. Because the examinations occur in the body, the trainer cannot see what the trainee is doing, and vice versa. In addition to this, medics rarely get the chance to practise the examination, as few patients would volunteer as practice subjects. In fact there is only one person registered in the country as a test subject, called a Rectal Teaching Assistant (RTA) in the UK.

“But the results of these examinations can have major implications for patients – they are very important for early diagnosis of various conditions such as prostate cancer.”

Although plastic models exist to help train medical staff, these do not feel like living flesh and tissue, added Dr Bello. Therefore to help doctors and nurses practice how to perform these examinations – and to ensure they are as comfortable as possible for patients, Dr Bello and his team have created a robotic ‘trainer rectum’.

When using the trainer, a doctor inserts his finger inside a silicone thimble attached to robotic technology able to recreate the exact sensation of the human rectum.

Furthermore, a computer screen behind the device can display a 3D model of the rectum and prostate, allowing the doctor, with the aid of 3D glasses, to see the anatomy while they perform the examination. The technology can be programmed for different scenarios, allowing the anatomy to be changed each time, explained Dr Alejandro Granados, also from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial and who is leading the development of the robotic rectum.

He added: “We have already asked a number of doctors and nurses – including prostate specialists and cancer surgeons – to trial the technology. They commented on the great advantage of being able to alter the anatomy. The size and shape of the rectum and prostate can vary greatly from person to person, and this technology enables medics to practice their skills in many different virtual patients. They also observed that because these examinations are performed solely by feel, experiencing a realistic sensation is crucial.”

Furthermore, the team are continuing to perfect the device, by collecting data from real prostate examinations in patients.

To read the full article at Medical News Today click here.

The Legacy of a Legend…Farewell, Mr. Palmer

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image courtesy of arniesarmy.org

Recently, golf legend, Arnold Palmer passed away. We’re all aware of the legacy of golf achievements the man left. Over 9o championships, in addition to 18 wins in foreign championships and 12 wins on the senior tour he was not only a force on the golf course, but in the community of cancer research and treatment.

This is a less well-known part of Arnold’s history, as he was more concerned with moving the cause forward than personal notority. At age 67 in 1997, Arnold had a PSA screening test for prostate cancer. His PSA had been rising for 2-3 years and had resulted in 2 prior normal prostate biopsies. But this time, his third biopsy showed him to have prostate cancer. He went to Mayo clinic where the doctors discussed the treatment options. Wanting the highest chance for cure, Arnold opted for surgery to remove his prostate. The findings showed enough risk for possible recurrence that he then received 7 weeks of radiation therapy. Remarkably, only 6 weeks later, after physical therapy, Arnold was back on the golf course competing in tournaments.

He won the admiration of his fans (known as Arnie’s Army) and all Americans by becoming a lifelong spokesperson for prostate cancer control. He advocated prostate cancer screening with PSA. Regarding screening, and in keeping with current recommendations, he felt that men’s lives would be better if they just talked to their doctor about it. “That’s health and living”, he said, and felt that being healthy is the “good life”.

Arnold also formed the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center in Palm Springs at the Eisenhower Lucy Curie Cancer Center, and then supported the Arnold Palmer Pavilion at U. Pittsburgh Medical Center and Latrobe Area Hospital. Because of his advocacy, many more men have been cured of prostate cancer and are survivors.

Funny Man Ben Stiller: Prostate cancer test ‘saved my life’

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Actor Ben Stiller revealed on Tuesday he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014. The tumor was surgically removed three months later, in September 2014, and Stiller has been cancer-free since.

Stiller shared the news on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show, and in an essay posted online.

According to Stiller, it was the prostate-specific antigen test, a blood test known as the PSA, that saved his life. He was tested and treated in his 40s.

To Read More at Cnn.com Click Here!   Be sure to check out the infographics below to see what risk factors affect you!

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