SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Brain Tumor Foundation’s “Road to Early Detection” campaign will make a stop in Saratoga Springs next week in an effort to provide free early screening for brain tumors and other neurological disorders.
Saratoga Springs was chosen as one of the foundation’s mobile MRI Unit stops because it is close to Warren County, which according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo has the highest incidence rate for all cancers combined of any county in the state.
The unit will be parked at 20 Lake Ave., and scans will be performed by appointment only from Tuesday to Thursday.
“We want people to be aware, be proactive, and hopefully, if they have something, to catch it early,” said Michael Schreiber, chairman of the Brain Tumor Foundation. “Finding it early could save a life.”
The Brain Tumor Foundation officially launched a pilot program of the campaign in 2008 and has since scanned nearly 6,000 people across the nation.
The scans, which are non-invasive and radiation free, are a modified form of an MRI that can be completed in less than 10 minutes, said Dr. Al Neugut, of the New York City-based Columbia University Medical Center.
“It’s so sensitive that it picks up abnormalities, which may then require a full MRI,” he said. “In addition to brain tumors, a scan of this kind can pick up Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and aneurysms.”
Those scanned must be between the ages of 18 and 80, and will receive a CD of their scan to provide to their physician.
“If we do find an abnormality, our radiology team usually contacts the physician to alert them accordingly,” Neugut said. “While the large majority of scans are normal, we have found people with brain tumors who had no idea that they had them, as well as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.
“We have also found aneurysms and have, as a result, alerted the patient to head immediately to a medical center for care.”
Neugut said he and his team would be completing the “Road to Early Detection” campaign within the next year-and-a-half. He said the data collected would be analyzed to determine what causes brain tumors.
“Any single event we’re undertaking generates about 100 to 150 subjects,” he said. “We’re looking to have 3,000 to scientifically analyze.”
Schreiber said he hopes the Saratoga Springs event attracts people from throughout the area.
“We want to let people know that brain cancer isn’t necessarily a death sentence if it’s caught early” he said. “We want people to be able to treat it and live healthy lives.”
To make an appointment for a brain scan, visit https://calendly.com/btf or call 844-283-7226.
For more information, visit www.braintumorfoundation.org.