McLaren Macomb offers a leading diagnostic measure used in combating cancer.
The hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging department offers PET/CT Scans, an advanced diagnostic tool which combines positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) into one procedure to provide an image of the whole body.
The PET/CT scan is used primarily to assess cancers, including lung, colorectal, lymphoma and breast cancers. McLaren Macomb is the first hospital in the Detroit area to offer combined PET and CT scans.
The American Cancer Society projects that 1.3 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year in the United States, with an estimated 47,400 cases expected to be diagnosed in Michigan.
PET/CT combines the two images into one single image. By combining the two technologies into one scanner, physicians get images that usually take two scanners. The result is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that helps doctors to make better treatment decisions.
While the PET image lets the doctor see how the body is functioning, the CT gives a view of the patient’s anatomic structure. Also, the procedure can detect cancerous cells the size of a pea.
Patients benefit because this test is non-invasive and available close to home. Physicians no longer need to send them out of the area for the test.
Early detection of cancer is one of the most important features of PET/CT scans, said Dr. James Peters, Medical Director of Nuclear Medicine at McLaren Macomb.
“PET/CT helps physicians identify cells that grow at a very fast rate, which is the case for cancer cells,” he said. “This tool often identifies the presence of disease earlier than other diagnostic tools.”
The procedure can also help physicians to detect if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
“We can now provide patients and their oncologists with additional information about the disease,” Dr. Peters said. “The PET/CT will help us determine both the location of the cancer and how aggressive it is. This is important information that we need to determine appropriate treatment.”
While PET/CT is a leading diagnostic aid for cancer, it is used also for coronary heart disease and neurological problems. The PET/CT whole-body imaging system is an invaluable clinical test for both adults and children.
To offer this diagnostic tool to physicians, McLaren Macomb has contracted with Alliance-HNI to bring a mobile PET/CT scanner to the hospital. The PET/CT scans will be on the new Discovery ST system from GE Medical Systems.
Initially, the mobile unit is at McLaren Macomb once a week. For further information, please contact your physician.