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New Machine for Radiology


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New Machine Targets Cancer

Reported by: Katie Burcham - WMBD/WYZZ TV

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 @04:27pm CST

WMBD/WYZZ TV - NORMAL -- 55 year-old Alvin Mardis is taking what may be the most important test of his life. Mardis says, "So I went to the hospital and I told the nurse when she checked me in, I either got pneumonia or lung cancer."

Turns out, Alvin was right. Last month he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Today he'll learn what stage his cancer is in, and how big his battle will be.

X-ray technician Rae Anne Robertson says, "If you catch it in a later stage then it's a lot harder to treat and the prognosis isn't as good, so we want to catch things as early as possible."

That is something this new machine is very good at. It's a hybrid diagnostic scanner. It fuses CT scan and PET scan technology to create a complete picture of Alvin's cancer. The CT scan tells where the tumor is, and the PET scan shows what it looks like.

It's like giving doctors a bullseye, and then a gun to shoot at it. Robertson says, "With the PET scan you're gonna see that activity, it's gonna light up, it's like a lightbulb turns on."

It is a newer, more exact science than oncologists had in the past. Doctors are using it to determine doses of radiation when planning treatments. That means patients like Alvin won't suffer as many side effects, and will benefit from a little more peace of mind.

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