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PET/CT scanner accurately diagnoses cancer

State-of-the-art PET/CT imaging for cancer does double duty

When your physician suspects a cancerous abnormality, it’s comforting to know that you have access to the most accurate diagnostic and treatment tools available. To deliver this level of patient care, Nazareth Hospital recently unveiled a new PET/CT imaging device capable of quickly finding and determining the stage of cancer.

“With our PET/CT scanner, I can more accurately diagnose and stage the cancer, often before the patient leaves my office,” says Donald Ostrum, MD, chair of Medical Imaging at Nazareth Hospital and co-managing partner of Radiology Affiliates Imaging. “The patient’s oncologist can then quickly initiate a highly individualized treatment plan.”

The PET/CT equipment combines two scanners that act as one. The CT scan reveals the location of the potentially cancerous cells. The PET scan reveals chemical reactions (metabolic activity). “This activity tells me if the mass is cancer, if there are multiple tumors and whether the cancer has spread,” explains Dr. Ostrum.

Once a care plan begins, a second PET/CT scan can reveal whether treatment is working. “Reduced chemical activity means we’re on track,” Dr. Ostrum says. “Increased activity means we need to try a different cancer-fighting agent. My patients know that treatment decisions are based on the most complete knowledge available.”

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