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Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - SJH Introduces PET/CT Imaging Services at Vineland Cancer Center

VINELAND, NJ (August 20)—Beginning in September, SJH will offer Positron Emission Tomography and Computerized Tomography (PET/CT) imaging services to patients at the SJH Frank and Edith Regional Scarpa Cancer Pavilion in Vineland. The technology will benefit local cancer patients because it helps physicians pinpoint the location of cancer within the body before making treatment recommendations.

The location of SJH’s new PET/CT scanner in the cancer pavilion at the Regional Medical Center in Vineland will also offer cancer patients added convenience at a time when they need it most. Patients can now receive a greater array of testing and treatments, as well as consultations with their physicians, all in one location. Additionally, SJH’s scanner will be completely dedicated to providing PET/CT images, increasing the availability of appointment times, unlike other radiology centers that split time on their scanners between standard CT and PET/CT imaging.

“Our PET/CT will be fully integrated into the cancer program at SJH, giving our cancer specialists computerized access to images that provide up-to-the-minute information,” said Joseph Fanelle, M.D., medical director of SJH Cancer Services. “If cancer is found early, patients have a much greater chance of beating the disease. A PET/CT scan can be used in early diagnosis, assisting our physicians in determining the best method of treatment for our patients.”

The highly sensitive PET scan can detect actively growing cancer cells in the body and the CT scan provides a detailed picture of the internal anatomy that reveals the location, size and shape of abnormal cancerous growths. Alone, each imaging test has particular benefits and limitations but when the results of PET and CT scans are "fused" together, the combined image provides more accurate information on cancer location and metabolism.

“Because PET/CT scans show metabolic activity and are quite sensitive, they can help physicians determine if cancer cells are continuing to grow or responding to treatment,” said Patti Herling, M.D., section chief of PET/CT at SJH. “These images can be extremely effective tools for physicians to track the effects of cancer treatments and alter
them if necessary. Patients receiving follow-up tests at the same location—on the same scanner—will also benefit from this technology because images can be compared more accurately to previous studies.”

SJH’s PET/CT imaging services will also utilize a state-of-the-art Picture Archiving Communications System (PACS). The technology provides physicians with digital images that can be viewed instantly in the hospital or on a computer in their own office. Because the electronic images can be easily transferred, they are also useful in obtaining a rapid second opinion if it is needed.

SJH is dedicated to providing patients throughout the region with convenient access to the highest quality radiology services. To fulfill that mission, the health system has built the largest network of imaging services in the region with locations at the SJH Regional Medical Center in Vineland, SJH Elmer Hospital, SJH Millville Imaging Center and SJH Bridgeton Health Center. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our toll-free appointment line at (866) SJH-APPT.