New PET/CT Imaging System Enhances Cancer Care Services

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Southeast Georgia Health System began offering PET/CT scans, one of the more advanced imaging systems for cancer care, at the Camden Campus in November. Previously, the system was only available at the Brunswick Campus. PET/CT is especially useful in measuring the effects of cancer treatment on a tumor.

"The addition of the PET/CT scanner on the Camden Campus will help physicians stage and treat cancer with more accuracy than before," says Laura S. Taylor, M.D., board-certified radiologist. "The images from a PET/CT scan provide answers to critical questions such as the size of a tumor, if it’s spreading, and if the therapy is working."

PET, an acronym for Positron Emission Tomography, is a test that uses special imaging cameras and a radioactive type of sugar to produce pictures of the function and metabolism of cells in the body. CT stands for Computerized Tomography, and is an x-ray test that generates a detailed view of the anatomy or structure of organs and tissues in the body. The CT scan can show the dimension of vessels, lymph nodes and organ systems.

Together, a PET/CT can depict both technologies using a single machine. It provides a picture of function (PET), a picture of anatomy (CT) and a merged picture of both the body’s metabolism and structure.

"The PET/CT is a great technology for physicians and patients alike," adds Timothy P. Bryant, CRA, MBA, RT(R)(N), manager, Radiology and Cardiopulmonary Services, Camden Campus. "Having this capability available locally, along with the Cancer Care Center, allows patients and their family members to remain close to home for this essential service, which is a great convenience."