In 2018, there were around 140,000 new cases of cancer in the Philippines according to the Global Cancer Observatory. Rather than surrendering to despair, cancer patients are empowering themselves with relevant information as well as control over their therapies.
Everyone affected by cancer knows the importance of early diagnostics and efficient management and treatment. Proper management, however, requires accurate diagnosis and evaluation of spread of tumor, which the PET-CT scanner can provide.
“It is best to undergo PET-CT especially if there are uncertainties. Getting a PET-CT scan ensures that you will immediately know if you have cancer or if your cancer has spread – and, if so, exactly where it is and how aggressive it is. So you can get the right treatment as soon as possible,” said Agnes, a breast cancer patient.
In patients with locally invasive disease such as Stage 2B cancer and greater, PET-CT performed as part of an initial staging workup may alter therapy after identification of distant metastatic disease.
Combining PET and CT technologies creates a more comprehensive image than each could produce alone. PET stands for positron emission tomography. CT stands for computed tomography. PET creates an image that reflects the body’s metabolic and biochemical activity using a low level of radiation, useful for targeting tumors. CT sees a 360-degree view of the body, useful for taking 3D pictures. Images from the two scanners provide a complete picture of the tumor’s location, size, and shape.
A PET-CT can be used to more accurately diagnose and locate cancers with increased patient comfort and a reduced number of scanning sessions, thus, saving time, at the same time saving the patient’s funds, because each additional test only increases the cost of the whole treatment.
“The next question is where to go for PET-CT. I would prefer to have it in a reputable hospital with highly trained doctors and staff like The Medical City,” said Agnes.
The latest in PET-CT scan technology
The team of radiology and nuclear medicine experts of premier health institution The Medical City (TMC) is now equipped with the latest in PET-CT scan technology, through its acquisition of the Biograph mCT Flow from Siemens Healthineers. This machine allows doctors to do improved PET and CT scans, to assess both organ structure and tissue function. This latest model not only creates better detailed images but also focuses its form and function on improving patient comfort and care. TMC started offering PET-CT scan in May 2019.
Now, on to the special features of Biograph mCT Flow from Siemens Healthineers.
On the outside, the tunnel (or the hollow center of the donut-shaped machine) aims to improve overall comfort for patients who have difficulty dealing with tight spaces. At 78 cm wide, Biograph mCT Flow’s bore is 25% more spacious compared to industry standards. This, combined with its 227 kg table capacity, also allows the hospital to serve even those with heavier and larger body types.
The insides are not without any advancements as well. Improved detectors inside the machine enable the production of greater details in images. Better details translate to better patient management. TMC’s latest PET-CT scanner is capable of providing higher definition, better spatial resolution, and less image “noise” for better detailing of lesions.
With FlowMotion technology, comprehensive imaging exams are achieved without sacrificing patient comfort and without increasing radiation exposure. The whole scan is done, as the name FlowMotion suggests, in one smooth passage through the PET-CT scan machine. Through this technology, doctors can tailor fit the type of scan being done and select which areas of the body require higher resolution compared to others. Again, by doing so, faster scan times are achieved, and patients are made to experience decreased CT radiation dose exposure of up to 32%.
TMC’s Team of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Experts
The expertise of the team behind TMC’s Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Departments in reading and reviewing images provides patients with accurate interpretations of PET-CT scan results. The two departments collaborated and built a team that will simultaneously read and review scans. This will help in improving individualized therapy planning. It also makes possible a more cost-effective form of cancer treatment.
This team is led by Dr. Angel M. De Guzman, the director of the Nuclear Medicine Department. He had his 4-year postdoctoral fellowship in Nuclear Medicine at the John Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He also underwent training at Zurich University where he had to read over 2,500 PET-CT Scans within six months. Joining him are two Nuclear Medicine specialists, and two Radiologists.
Each scan is read and interpreted with precision. It is viewed by a first reader, then a second reader giving 90% accuracy, and again read by a third reader for quality control. The PET-CT Center assures accuracy, making sure that medical mismanagement is avoided.
“The PET-CT scan completes our armamentarium of cancer diagnostic tools. With our top of the line PET-CT, our patients are assured that at TMC, we continue to improve our diagnostic, staging, and treatment capabilities to elevate the standard of cancer care.” said Dr. Beatrice J. Tiangco, director of TMC Augusto P. Sarmiento Cancer Institute (APSCI).
For appointments and inquiries, please call The Medical City PET Center at 8- 9881000 / 8- 9887000 ext. 3143, or visit www.themedicalcity.com.