Today the Ministry of Health announced the opening of the PET/CT scanner at BC Cancer – Kelowna, marking the 4th publicly-funded PET/CT unit in the province. The addition of this scanner combined with the PET/CT scanners at BC Cancer – Vancouver and Victoria, will increase provincial capacity for an important part of enhanced cancer care.
“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,” says 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 delivers precise images of abnormal or cancerous cells which can help physicians diagnose cancer at an early stage or evaluate the effectiveness of treatments by determining if a patient’s tumour have shrunk, spread, or returned. From April 2019 to March 2020, approximately 1,100 scans were conducted in Vancouver on residents living in the Interior Health Authority catchment.
“I was originally scheduled for a scan in Vancouver,” said Terry Penny, “But then I was called and asked if I wanted to have my scan done at the Kelowna centre. I only live a few blocks away, so I was overjoyed to be able to walk to my appointment rather than having to spend all that time and money travelling.” Terry was the first patient to receive a PET/CT scan at BC Cancer – Kelowna.
The scanner brings care closer to home for residents in Kelowna and surrounding communities and was provided, in part, with support from over 2,100 donors who contributed more than $5 million dollars through the BC Cancer Foundation.
“Today marks a significant milestone for families facing cancer in B.C.’s Interior communities,” says Sarah Roth, chief executive officer, BC Cancer Foundation. “Thanks to our generous BC Cancer Foundation donors and investment from our government, BC Cancer has brought world-class diagnostics closer to home.”
To read more about the Ministry of Health announcement, visit BC Cancer's News Release page.
To learn more about the PET/CT program, please visit the BC Cancer Functional Imaging page or, to learn about the great work the BC Cancer Foundation is doing, visit bccancerfoundation.com.