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At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we all work together for one mission: to help you fight cancer. For the Medical Imaging Department at Southeastern Regional Medical Center (Southeastern) that means using sophisticated, minimally invasive diagnostic technology to detect cancer cells with precision and accuracy. This helps us develop an individualized and targeted treatment plan from the start.
“Almost every single patient that comes to CTCA will interact with the Medical Imaging Department,” says Linda Davis, Director of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology at Southeastern. “Whether a patient is coming for diagnosis, assessment or treatment, we’re there to help.”
When you first visit our hospital, we will complete an array of diagnostic tests to accurately locate and stage the disease. Then, we’ll work with you and your caregivers to develop a comprehensive, fully integrated treatment plan that best suits your needs.
Our All-Digital Hospital
We understand that waiting for test results can be stressful, and that is why we do everything we can to get you through your tests and to your results as soon as possible. Since Southeastern is an all-digital cancer center, we are able to provide diagnostic imaging exams both within the Medical Imaging Department and at your bedside, depending on the tests ordered. This means we are able to provide test results in minutes to hours, dramatically reducing wait times.
Your entire Care Team has instant access to the results, allowing them to quickly and seamlessly coordinate care. Throughout your treatment, we will utilize the latest technology to track the disease, and modify your plan based on your response.
The Medical Imaging Team
The Medical Imaging Department at Southeastern consists of a talented team devoted to delivering the Mother Standard® of care in everything we do. Our imaging team works together to ensure that imaging tests are performed with the highest degree of quality and accuracy, and that the results are delivered in a timely manner.
The Medical Imaging Department's experienced staff includes board-certified diagnostic radiologists and board-certified, fellowship-trained interventional radiologists (IR). The department also includes technologists registered within their specialties (e.g. ultrasound, MRI, CT, Nuclear Medicine), as well as IR-trained nurses.
The department is led by Davis, who has been a nuclear medicine technologist and administrator in the field for over 20 years. “At CTCA, we are all invested in treating the patient as a whole, and providing our patients with whatever it is they may need,” says Davis. “Whether that is praying with our faith-based patients or just bringing comfort to them and their caregivers, we’re able to truly engage with our patients every step of the way.”
Advanced Imaging Technology
At Southeastern, we use advanced medical imaging equipment to locate and eradicate cancer. Our equipment produces digital images, which we evaluate at post-processing work stations to detect abnormal anatomy and physiology.
The following are just some of the advanced imaging tools available at our cancer hospital:
This kind of mammography allows us to quickly acquire exceptionally sharp, digital images of the breasts.
Once the digital images are acquired and transmitted to a high-tech, digital mammography workstation, our radiologists analyze the images to determine the precise location and extent of the disease. “Our radiologists who interpret Mammograms are sub-specialized in women’s imaging, and meet with our patients after their studies to discuss results and review images,” says Davis.
GE Discovery™ PET/CT 600 Scanner
The GE Discovery™ PET/CT 600 Scanner combines positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) imaging technology into one machine, providing greater image accuracy and shortening patient treatment times. Small amounts of radioactive materials are combined with glucose molecules to localize in active cells, accurately detecting small lesions in different areas of the body. This is especially valuable for breast, lung, renal, colon and prostate cancers.
Using non-ionizing radiofrequency waves, powerful magnets and a computer, this technology produces detailed, cross-sectional pictures of the inside of the body.
With MRI, we can distinguish between normal and diseased tissue to precisely pinpoint cancerous cells within the body. It is also useful in revealing metastases. The MRI system provides greater contrast between the different soft tissues of the body than a CT scan.
Other Imaging Services
Additional imaging services at Southeastern include the following:
- Computed Tomography (CT)
- Multidetector CT Scanner
- Nuclear Medicine Imaging
- Vascular Ultrasound
We also perform interventional radiology procedures in the Medical Imaging Department at Southeastern. Interventional radiology is a subspecialty of radiology, in which minimally invasive procedures are performed using imaging guidance to target treatment within specific areas of the body.
Radiography/fluoroscopy or ultrasonography are used to direct these procedures, which are usually performed with needles or other tiny instruments, such as catheters. The images provide road maps that allow the interventional radiologist to guide these instruments through a patient’s body to the areas of interest.
Many interventional radiology procedures for cancer treatment are performed on an outpatient basis or during a short hospital stay. In many cases, the procedures are less painful and debilitating for patients than exploratory surgical procedures. In addition, patients can typically recover more quickly and tend to have fewer side effects and complications.
The following are two examples of the interventional procedures we perform at Southeastern:
In this procedure, a small catheter is inserted through a needle (with X-ray guidance) into the patient’s femoral artery, located in the groin. The interventional radiologist then threads the catheter through the aorta (the largest artery in the body) and then into the artery in the liver that feeds the tumor. The interventional radiologist then injects chemotherapy into that artery. This concentrated dose hits the tumor directly.
CT fluoroscopy may be conducted via our multidetector CT scanner for use in biopsies. Interventional Radiologists can use CT fluoroscopy (live CT images) to help position the probe/needle in and around critical anatomical structures, such as the heart, lungs and spine to obtain the best tumor specimen. It also allows physicians to drain thoracic, abdominal, pelvic and retroperitoneal lesions.
The live images reduce the length of a biopsy procedure, saving time for both the patient and the physician. CT fluoroscopy also reduces the effect of the patient’s breathing motion on image quality. It helps allow for accurate depth and direction of the needle during procedures.
The Team Approach
The imaging team at Southeastern works closely with your entire Care Team. Your personal team of doctors, cancer specialists and supportive therapy clinicians share information every step of the way so you are empowered and supported.
We take an individualized, personalized approach to every patient. You can choose to receive supportive therapies, like nutrition, naturopathic medicine and mind-body medicine, before, during or after a procedure. Many patients use these treatments to strengthen their immune system, fight side effects and enjoy a better quality of life during cancer treatment.