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Technology With a Human Touch
The Center for Cancer Care's Mission includes treating patients with dignity, respect and compassion. One way we strive to achieve our Mission is to offer our patients the most advanced methods of diagnosing and treating all forms of cancer. Several steps were taken over the past year, including investments in technology, to ensure this goal is being met.

In August, St. Luke's enhanced diagnostic imaging capabilities with the addition of an 8-slice Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) system. PET/CT enables physicians to determine exactly where a cancerous tumor is located, how far it has spread, and whether therapies being used are performing as expected. The images are so precise that they can help reduce unnecessary tests and biopsies, and can help guide physicians in deciding what treatment works best for each cancer patient.

The PET/CT system integrates PET and CT technologies into a single device, making it possible to collect both anatomical and biological information during a single examination. This integrated information permits accurate tumor detection and localization for a variety of cancers, including breast, esophageal, cervical, melanoma, lymphoma, lung, colorectal, ovarian, and head and neck cancer.

Cancer of the prostate was the most common diagnosis at St. Luke's Center for Cancer Care this year. We offer the newest treatment options for men with prostate cancer, including brachytherapy, through our department of radiation oncology. Brachytherapy is a procedure in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. The procedure is also referred to as internal radiation, implant radiation or interstitial radiation therapy. Brachytherapy has proven to be extremely effective in treating early stages of prostate cancer with milder side effects than other, older therapies.

Also available to patients at St. Luke's Hospital is the X-Knife procedure, a form of intensive local irradiation to treat brain tumors and arteriovenous malformations. X-Knife produces a sharper radiation dose gradient along the treatment field edges, while greatly reducing the dose of radiation to the surrounding healthy tissue. This treatment often avoids complications and inconveniences of conventional surgery.

As each patient is diagnosed, a comprehensive, team-oriented approach to treatment is planned taking into account the most advanced therapies. This commitment, combined with ongoing support options for the patient and family, reflects the Mission of the Center for Cancer Care at St. Luke's Hospital.

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