A wide variety of imaging capabilities at Regional Cancer Center contribute to the diagnosis of cancer and the monitoring of treatment progress. A variety of machines and techniques allow doctors to look at the structures and activities inside the body. The technology used depends on the patient’s symptoms and part of the body being examined. X-rays, Computed Tomography (CT), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and combined PET/CT scans are all available at RCC.
Many imaging tests are painless and easy. Some require patients to stay still for a long time inside a machine, which can be uncomfortable.
Diagnostic Imaging Services Include:
An X-ray is a quick, painless test that produces images of the structures inside your body — particularly your bones.
X-ray beams can pass through your body, but they are absorbed in different amounts depending on the density of the material they pass through. Dense materials, such as bone and metal, show up as white on X-rays. The air in your lungs shows up as black. Fat and muscle appear as varying shades of gray.
A Computed Tomography (CT) scan uses a combination of X-rays and computers to give the radiologist a non-invasive way to see inside the body. One advantage of CT is its ability to rapidly acquire two-dimensional pictures of anatomy. Using a computer, these 2D images can be presented in 3D for in-depth clinical evaluation.
RCC is currently using an Optima CT580 W, a cutting-edge computed tomography (CT) system from GE Healthcare. One of the many features of this unit is dose-reduction technology.The scanner uses a powerful X-ray tube, creates high-resolution images, and has the ability to scan the anatomy from head to toe without compromise. Scans performed on this CT are also done extremely fast, allowing for shorter breath holds and more comfortable patient exams.
A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan detects changes in cellular function – how cells are utilizing nutrients like sugar and oxygen. Since these functional changes take place before physical changes occur, PET can provide information that enables physicians to make an early diagnosis. The PET exam pinpoints metabolic activity in cells and the CT exam provides an anatomical reference. When these two scans are fused together physicians can view metabolic changes in the proper anatomical context of the body.
PET/CT exam results may have a major impact on the diagnosis of a potential health problem and, should an abnormality be detected, how a treatment plan is developed and managed. A PET/CT exam not only helps physicians diagnose a problem, it also helps predict the likely outcome of various therapeutic alternatives, pinpoint the best approach to treatment, and monitor treatment progress. If a patient is not responding as well as expected, the course of treatment can be changed to seek something more effective.