Cancer patients will benefit from a new PET/CT scanner installed at Epworth Freemasons, as part of a $100 million-dollar development of the hospital.

The two-million-dollar scanner was partially funded by the generous donations to the Epworth Medical Foundation.

The scanner was installed during a three-million-dollar upgrade to Epworth Medical Imaging (EMI) facilities at Epworth Freemasons, in East Melbourne. This centre was designed and purpose built with patients in mind, to providing state-of-the art services and care to Epworth patients.

EMI Clinical Director, Dr James Sheldon, a dual trained Radiologist/ Nuclear Medicine Specialist with considerable experience in PET imaging, said the new scanner will help identify undiagnosed cancer.

“Cancer cells usually exhibit an exceptional requirement for glucose,” Dr Sheldon said.

“This means tumours present as hotspots compared with normal tissues on a PET/CT study.”

The PET/CT can reveal tumour that is not visible on other types of scans, which can help with the detection of unknown disease, as well as mapping the spread of diagnosed cancer to ensure the most appropriate treatment is provided.

Follow-up scans are performed to assess the patient’s response to treatment and detect early recurrence of cancers.

Epworth Freemasons Executive General Manager, Simon Benedict, said having the state-of-the-art scanner onsite is a key asset in patient diagnosis and care.

“This new scanner delivers exceptional clarity to help lead to earlier diagnosis of some cancers, and ultimately improving patient outcomes.

“Having this state-of-the-art scanner within our hospital, means oncology patients will no longer have to travel to another facility to have their scans, then return to Epworth for consultations and possible treatment.”

EMl Chief Operations Officer, Peter Nuttman, said the combined PET/CT scanner has significant benefits over separate PET and CT scanners.

“The PET/CT scanner is a powerful imaging tool for the detection of various cancers and provides significant advantages over separate PET or CT scanners that have individual limitations,’ Mr Nuttman said.

The cutting-edge diagnostic technology will reduce scan times by about 20 percent, improving patient comfort and reducing radiation dose.

The new service is conveniently located near the main entrance adjacent to EMI at 113 Albert Street East Melbourne, with bulk billing of all Medicare rebatable PET/CT scans and free onsite parking for outpatients attending EMI.


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