Vail Valley’s Shaw Cancer Center gets new scanner |

Vail Valley’s Shaw Cancer Center gets new scanner

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – A new PET/CT scanner at the Vail Valley’s Shaw Regional Cancer Center will help doctors detect cancer earlier and in parts of the body that would usually remain hidden, hospital officials said.

Joe Deuschle, vice president of the Edwards cancer center, called the technology “cutting edge” and said it would provide services for which patients would normally have to travel to Denver or Grand Junction

The scanner combines two types of technology.

“One shows that cancer exists, the other shows you where,” said Dr. Wayne Wenzel, the hospital’s chief of radiology. “The benefit is earlier and more precise detection in addition to giving patients far more personalized treatment plans.”

In the PET (positron emission tomography) process, radioactive sugar molecules are injected into the patient. These molecules become concentrated at cancerous cells, indicating the size and location of the cancer. Then the CT scan overlays images of the body’s organs.

“Together they give us a detailed, personalized view of each patient’s cancerous areas and tell us how large the area is,” said Wenzel. “Subsequent PET/CT scans can tell us if the patient is responding to their treatment or if they are in remission.”

The scanner was purchased with donations and fundraising efforts by the Shaw Outreach Team. The hospital will host a ribbon cutting at Shaw Regional Cancer Center on June 26 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The community is invited to attend the celebration.

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