BC Cancer patients living on Vancouver Island will have more services available to them at the BC Cancer – Victoria centre with the recent opening of a new, state-of-the-art PET/CT scanner. The scanner is BC Cancer’s third PET/CT scanner and the first one located outside of the Metro Vancouver area.
One in two British Columbians are expected to receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime and the expansion of the provincial PET/CT program to Victoria is another step towards preparing to meet that demand. Patient-centred care is a foundational principle for BC Cancer. By providing closer to home access to necessary equipment and specially-trained personnel, BC Cancer is reducing the burden of travel for those who may be facing a difficult diagnosis.
Last year, more than 1,900 Vancouver Island residents travelled to Vancouver for these scans. It is expected that this scanner will be able to provide approximately 2,200 scans per year. This scanner represents the latest technology available in PET/CT imaging, this unit is longer and can scan more of a patient in each imaging segment which allows for faster scans and improved image quality.
PET/CT combines two different scanners, a positron emission tomography (PET) scan and a computerized tomography (CT) scan in one. By combining both scans in one, at PET/CT scanner creates a more precise image of a body. Having a more precise image allows cancer care providers to more accurately see abnormal or cancerous cells and even evaluate the effectiveness of treatment by seeing if tumours have shrunk, spread, or returned.
In addition to government investment, the BC Cancer Foundation
raised funds for the new scanner with support from over 3,500 Vancouver Island donors including $2 million dollars from Nanaimo resident and former patient Gordon Heys and $1 million from long-standing supporter Thrifty Foods.