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Published on July 17, 2012

Nazareth Hospital Now Offers PET/CT for Cancer Detection

PET ScanNazareth Hospital today announced the introduction of PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography combined with Computed Tomography) cancer imaging services to the Greater Philadelphia region.  State-of-the-art diagnostic services are critical to help effectively diagnose and treat patients with cancer. This devastating disease is still a leading cause of death. In 2010, 1 in 4 deaths in the United States are due to cancer and 1.5 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed. (Cancer Facts and Figures, American Cancer Society) In many cancer types, early detection of the cancer has been directly linked to the success of the patient’s outcome.

“The addition of PET/CT means patients with cancer can get advanced staging and treatment right here at Nazareth, rather than having to travel to access the care they need. Our implementation of this technology demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that members of our community have access to the care they need, close to home,” said Nancy Cherone, FACHE, Interim CEO at Nazareth Hospital.

PET/CT provides doctors with a wealth of high-quality information -- more than they can get in a single scan. PET/CT combines CT’s fine structural detail with PET’s ability to detect biochemical abnormalities in the cell.  This combination allows for earlier and more accurate detection of disease than either CT or PET imaging alone. A PET/CT scan helps physicians diagnose a problem, determine the best approach to treatment and monitor patient progress.

According to Donald S. Ostrum, MD, Chairman of Medical Imaging at Nazareth Hospital, ”Combining CT with PET gives us the best of both worlds.  We have a very strong ability to identify the presence or extent of disease using PET, plus we have the CT to help pinpoint exactly where we should perform a follow-up biopsy, therapy or surgery. In addition, the radiologists here have a great deal of experience in PET/CT from our work at our other locations. We’re delighted to be launching this modality here at Nazareth.”

Physicians can use the PET/CT scan to help find the primary tumor and determine whether the disease has spread to other parts of the body. In addition, the PET/CT scan can help identify where the cancer has spread and how aggressive it is. This information is critical to determining the appropriate treatment for a patient. As the patient undergoes treatment, follow-up PET/CT scans can be performed to determine if the cancer has been cured.

Due to the clinical value of PET imaging, coverage for PET/CT scans has expanded in recent years and Medicare, Medicaid and many private payers now offer coverage for most major cancers. Coverage includes: lung, breast, colorectal, lymphoma, melanoma, head & neck, esophageal and thyroid cancers.

For more information about PET/CT, call 1.866.NAZARETH (1.866.629.2738)

Media Contact

Christy A. McCabe
Director, Marketing Communications

Nazareth Hospital
2601 Holme Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19152

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