Ocean Medical Center Announces New PET/CT Service

Contact:Donna Sellmann

Ocean Medical Center Announces New PET/CT Service

Technology leads the way for cancer and Alzheimer's detection

Ocean Medical Center now offers the very latest technology in the diagnosis and care of cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's. The new PET/CT combines the benefits of both Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT) all in one scan, allowing physicians to diagnose diseases more quickly and accurately.

"This new technology arms local physicians with the most powerful tools available to combat many types of diseases," says Peter Daniels, president of Ocean Medical Center. "Enhanced, faster scans translate into more precise treatment, and ultimately greater chance of recovery and improved quality of life for our patients."

PET/CT provides oncologists and other specialists the most comprehensive clinical information available to manage cancer. PET/CT integrates diagnostic PET and CT technologies into a single device, making it possible for doctors to collect both anatomical and biological information during a single examination. The information obtained by PET/CT allows for accurate tumor detection and localization for a variety of cancers, including melanoma, lymphoma, lung, colorectal, head and neck, and ovarian cancers.

"This technology offers patients tremendous benefits," says William Lerner, M.D., chief of Hematology/Medical Oncology at Ocean Medical Center. "Physicians can make earlier cancer diagnosis, greater accuracy in determining the stage that the cancer is in, and more precise treatment planning." Dr. Lerner notes that the PET/CT exam is painless and safe, and is generally conducted in less than thirty minutes.

While PET/CT is an important tool used for patients with known or suspected cancer, it is also very helpful for patients with certain neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's.

"Physicians can use PET/CT in the evaluation of patients with signs or symptoms of dementia (such as changes in memory, language function, personality, or behavior), especially in cases where the doctor is considering Alzheimer's disease," says Rocco DiPaola, M.D., a board certified neurologist at Ocean Medical Center. "The PET/CT can help to identify which patients may benefit from treatment intended to slow progression of the disease."

Before having a scan, patients receive a dose of a 'tracer,' which mimics substances found naturally in the body including water, sugars and proteins. These tracers accumulate in diseased cells. During the scan, the tracers are detected by the PET/CT system, creating an image of the patient and highlighting any abnormal physiology. This image helps physicians determine if any disease is present, the location and extent of the disease, and can track how rapidly the disease is spreading.

The new PET/CT is the latest enhancement to Ocean Medical Center's robust imaging and cancer services. Speak to your doctor to determine if PET/CT can help you or a loved one, or call 732-836-4040 and ask to speak to one of Ocean Medical Center's technologists.

Ocean Medical Center, a member of the Meridian Health family, is a 281-bed non-profit community hospital located in Brick New Jersey, providing health care programs and services in all major medical disciplines, including maternity; oncology; orthopedics and rehabilitation; general, neurological, thoracic, and vascular surgery; cardiology; dialysis; and emergency and critical care services. The Medical Center features Magnet award winning nurses and is a proud affiliate of University of Pennsylvania Cancer Network. Ocean Medical Center also operates the state's first Satellite Emergency Department in Point Pleasant, called the Ocean Care Center. For more information, call the Meridian Health Line at 1-800-560-9990 or log on to our web site at www.OceanMedicalCenter.com.