PET/CT Imaging Services to Begin at Berkshire Medical Center

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Health Systems has announced that it is partnering with Baystate MRI and Imaging and Shields Health Care Group in launching PET/CT (positron emission tomography/computed tomography) imaging services at Berkshire Medical Center. This sophisticated, state-of-the-art imaging service will be provided as part of the new BMC Cancer Program.
PET/CT Imaging at BMC combines a PET scanner and a CT scanner into one system. The mobile unit will be at BMC once a week, on Fridays, and will initially be located at the main hospital. It will move to the Hillcrest Campus of BMC in 2014 after additional construction work is completed at that location. The PET/CT Imaging Service at BMC began operations on May 3.
PET/CT has been provided for the past several years at Berkshire Hematology/Oncology at its offices on Conte Drive with a mobile unit, which is being replaced by this service at BMC.
PET/CT is one of the most advanced medical imaging techniques available today. It combines PET’s ability to detect increases in cell activity with the fine structural detail that CT scans provide. This revolutionary technology enables physicians to detect the presence of disease earlier and pinpoint its location with much greater accuracy than PET or CT scans alone. The PET/CT information will also feed into the treatment-planning technology for radiation oncology to aid in the identification of appropriate field sizes.
PET/CT scans are used primarily for the diagnosis and staging of cancer. The technology can also be used for differentiating Alzheimer’s disease from other forms of dementia.
“PET/CT is a highly important technological tool for our patients and their physicians, particularly those who are diagnosed with cancer,” said Dr. David Winger, medical director of Nuclear Medicine at BMC. “Having this capability available locally allows patients and their family members to remain close to home for this essential service, which is a great convenience, and also makes the communication between physicians and patients easier.”
PET/CT scans are performed to:
•Detect cancer;
•Determine whether a cancer has spread in the body;
•Assess the effectiveness of a treatment plan, such as cancer therapy;
•Determine if a cancer has returned after treatment; and
•Evaluate brain abnormalities, such as tumors, seizures, memory disorders.
The new BMC Cancer Center will provide comprehensive, integrated cancer-care services in one location, including hematology/oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology consultation, advanced imaging, and numerous support and wellness services.