Once cancer is diagnosed, everyone needs the best, most accurate information available with a comprehensive imaging perspective. That is why Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. (DRPC) provides complete capabilities and unique expertise for oncology imaging. Our board-certified radiologists are subspecialty fellowship-trained in a specific focus, such as nuclear medicine, MRI, CT, and body imaging, which translates into advanced diagnostic skill and unsurpassed expertise.
In addition, the DRPC team collaborates weekly with referring physicians (medical and surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists and pathologists) at Jennie Edmundson at the multidisciplinary tumor board to provide the most efficient, focused care possible.
Positron emission tomography (PET) represents one of our most powerful oncology imaging tools; it helps our radiologists detect tumors at their earliest, most treatable stage. And earlier detection is the key to effective treatment and survivability. PET captures tumor cells “in action”, making it a valuable tool for the clinical evaluation of patients with various cancers, including head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and colorectal cancer. Since PET images biochemical activity, it can accurately predict whether a tumor is benign or malignant, thereby avoiding surgical biopsy when a PET scan is negative. PET is also used to determine the stage of cancer accurately and evaluate the effectiveness of cancer therapy and medication, potentially sparing patients from uncomfortable treatments that are proving ineffective.
By combining images obtained through PET and CT — a function made possible by sophisticated image fusion software — oncologists are entering a new era. PET-CT fusion combines cellular imaging and structural imaging, providing the highest sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy available in cancer imaging today. For the physician, the fused image can provide more data in less time, leading to faster, more accurate diagnosis, treatment planning, and treatment monitoring.
Fusion assists the physician in determining the presence and size of a tumor, where it is located, and if it is spreading and allows physicians to be more selective in whom they take to the operating room. The modality aids in finding recurrences of cancer and can be used to guide the surgeon to the exact location of the malignancy and help the radiation oncologist localize treatment while avoiding injury to healthy tissue. For the patient, PET-CT fusion means a reduction in exam time and a potential reduction in invasive procedures such as biopsies and unnecessary surgeries.