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FITCHBURG, Mass. — HealthAlliance Hospital, in partnership with UMass Memorial and Shields Health Care, now offers PET/CT imaging at the Burbank campus. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health visited the PET/CT scanning site on Friday, Dec. 1, and granted HealthAlliance Hospital approval for the service. Located adjacent to the Urgent Care Center, the mobile unit offers imaging services on Saturdays.

The Positron Emission Technology or PET imaging measures changes in the body’s metabolic rates (or how quickly the body’s cells absorb glucose or sugar) in order to identify many forms of cancer as well as several neurological and cardiac diseases. The CT portion is performed at the same time to identify structural tissue changes, which are superimposed with PET scan. By combining these two scans into one, the physician is able to detect the presence of disease earlier than other diagnostic tests and pinpoint its location with much greater accuracy.

“PET/CT technology is regarded as the most powerful tool to accurately image and measure the metabolic function of cancer. Once a tumor has been located, PET/CT is often helpful in distinguishing between benign and malignant nodules. Additionally, once a patient has undergone chemotherapy, PET/CT can help assess how effective the treatment has been,” said Philip Lowry, M.D., medical director of the cancer center. “The new PET/CT scanner is a very significant adjunct service of the Simonds-Sinon Regional Cancer Center, and we are thrilled to be able to offer more convenient access for our patients.”

“In addition to our fixed MRI service located at the Leominster campus, this is another example of our partnership with UMass Memorial Health Care and Shields Health Care Group providing our patients with the highest quality of care in a familiar environment close to home,” stated Patrick Muldoon, president and CEO of HealthAlliance Hospital.

“Shields is committed to ensuring that its patients and physicians continue to benefit from the latest advances in medical imaging,” said Jack Shields, president of Shields Health Care Group. “In addition to helping diagnose abnormalities much more accurately than any other available technology, the PET/CT scanner allows patients the benefits of a reduction in diagnosis and treatment time in a situation where time is of the essence.”

For additional information on the PET/CT imaging or to schedule an exam, contact the scheduling department at (866) 258-4PET(4738).

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