Tahlequah Daily Press

Z_CNHI News Service

December 20, 2013

Latest cancer-battle weapon

Nuclear imaging system added by St. Mary’s RMC

ENID, Okla. — St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center has a new weapon in the battle against cancer.

The hospital recently purchased a nuclear medicine imaging system called the Siemens Symbia S. The device handles a variety of computer tomography imaging tasks to assist in the diagnosis and evaluation of disease.

The way it works is, a radioactive dye is injected into the patient, and is attracted to a specific organ or area of the body. Then, the machine “scans” the patient, making images of the isotope-laden organ or area.

Other imaging technologies, such as X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging, provide structural or geographic information. Nuclear medicine detects activity on a molecular level.

A nuclear medicine scan can detect things like cancerous lesions in the lungs well before they are large enough to be identified by other means.

“That’s the beauty of nuclear medicine,” said Bob Brice, director of radiology at St. Mary’s. “It shows us the function of the organ.”

The Symbia S is the first nuclear medicine camera designed to perform any procedure on any type of patient, said Martha Del Toro, marketing director at St. Mary’s.

The system is ideal for the early detection and staging of cancer, heart disease and other hard-to-diagnose disorders, Del Toro said.

Additionally, its design permits it to be used for patients in wheelchairs or on stretchers, as well as those able to walk to the machine’s pallet and lie down.

“With its unique combination of image quality, patient versatility and unsurpassed functionality,” Brice said, “we expect our new Symbia S nuclear imaging system to significantly reduce examination time and costs, while improving patient outcomes.”

Brice said the Symbia S typically will be used for five to eight patients per day at St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center has provided comprehensive nuclear medicine health care services to the community for years.

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