Imaging technology that both measures how quickly a tumor is growing and pinpoints its exact location is now available in Yavapai County at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) East in Prescott Valley. “This is the most advanced imaging technology of its kind available,” said Mary Sterling, YRMC’s Director of Imaging Services.
The “Time-of-Flight” (TOF) technology, as it’s called, combines Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET-CT) in a single imaging unit. The job of the PET scan is to detect molecular activity within the body for diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. The CT scan precisely locates the cancer.
A remodeled area adjacent to Imaging Services on the first floor of YRMC East in Prescott Valley will house the new PET/CT unit. It will include a room with comfortable chairs and blankets, where patients can relax before exams.
“PET is a nuclear medicine procedure,” said Sterling. “This means patients receive a small amount of radiation called a radioisotope before exams. They need a comfortable place to relax for an hour before the procedure. This helps us to get the best scan possible.”
PET-CT Helps Cancer Patients
During its first year at YRMC East, the PET-CT technology will be used to:
- Diagnose and stage all types of cancers.
- Monitor treatment progress in patients who have undergone radiation therapy or chemotherapy.