First PET/CT scanner for interior of British Columbia
September 9, 2020
KELOWNA, BC – People living in the interior of British Columbia will now have easier access to specialized cancer care services with a new, state-of-the-art PET/CT scanner suite at BC Cancer – Kelowna. “The new PET/CT scanner in Kelowna will be a game changer for patients in our region. It will support better care and shorter waits for people right here in the Interior by providing faster diagnostics, closer to home,” said Susan Brown (pictured), president and chief executive officer, Interior Health.
Until now, cancer patients living in Kelowna and surrounding areas had to travel to the Lower Mainland to receive their cancer-related PET/CT scans. In 2019-20, BC Cancer – Vancouver conducted 1,151 scans on people who travelled from the Interior Health Authority area. Once fully operational, the new PET/CT scanner is expected to provide more than 2,000 scans per year.
“PET/CT imaging is a very sensitive and specific scanning method to detect cancer. More and more, PET scanning is quickly becoming an important and critical tool to diagnose, stage and assess treatment response for a number of different cancers,” said Dr. Kim Chi, vice-president and chief medical officer, BC Cancer. “This enables us, as oncologists, to best design and personalize a treatment plan for our patients. Thus, timely access to PET scanning is required to enable high-quality cancer care.”
A PET/CT scanner is a critical component of enhanced cancer care. It delivers precise images of abnormal or cancerous cells. These images can help physicians diagnose cancer at an early stage or evaluate the effectiveness of treatments by determining if a patient’s cancer tumours have shrunk, spread or returned.
The total project cost is $10.5 million, with more than $5.3 million provided by the BC Cancer Foundation with support from over 2,100 donors, and approximately $5.2 million provided by the Ministry of Health through the Provincial Health Services Authority.