PET/CT Now In Cape Cod

Cancer imaging services now being offered to the greater Cape Cod region.

Cape Cod Health Care and Shields Health Care Group today announced the introduction of PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography combined with Computed Tomography) cancer imaging services to the greater Cape Cod region.

“We’re very happy to launch this service on the Cape,” said Joe Martins, PET/CT Operations Director at Shields Health Care Group. “What excites referring doctors the most about the technology is the amount and quality of information they can get in a single scan. CT scanners provide good detail of the inside of the body, but they don’t show which cells are active, or how active they are. This is what the PET scan can do.”

PET scanners take advantage of the fact that cancer cells burn the sugar glucose at unusually high rates. Patients to be scanned are given an injection of radioactive glucose. The decay particles given off by that glucose are called positrons, and can be detected by the scanner. By calculating precisely where the source of the positrons is located in the patient, PET can locate where in the body cancer cells are burning glucose at unusually high levels.

Combining CT with PET gives us the best of both worlds. It not only gives us a very strong ability to identify the presence or extent of disease via PET, we have the correlative CT to pinpoint just exactly where we should perform a follow-up biopsy, therapy or surgery.

A PET/CT scan takes about 30 minutes or less to complete. The patient must receive the radioactive glucose injection about 1 hour before the scan starts. Medicare, Medicaid and most private payers cover the cost of a PET/CT scan. While not all cancer types are eligible for PET/CT insurance payments, the cancers that affect the largest number of people are. These include lung, breast, colorectal, lymphoma, melanoma, head & neck, esophageal, and thyroid cancers.

Lisa Campisi 774-328-2397