We have gathered together the latest in cancer diagnostic and treatment technology. From tried and true devices like MRI and CT to the latest innovations like CyberKnife and TomoTherapy, our doctors and technicians have unprecedented views of the human body to accurately and efficiently treat cancer.
CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery is a medical procedure that utilizes very accurately targeted doses of radiation to precisely treat cancer. This noninvasive “operation” has proven to be an effective alternative to surgery or conventional radiation for treating many small tumors.
TomoTherapy uses a CT scanner to provide a three-dimensional (3D) image that ensures accurate and efficient treatment for every cancer patient every time. This consistency aids the helical (continuous 360º) IMRT to accurately aim tens of thousands of narrow beamlets, all targeting the tumor and individually-optimized to contribute to the total tumor dose.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is an advanced mode of high-precision radiotherapy that utilizes computer-controlled x-ray accelerators to deliver precise radiation doses to a malignant tumor or specific areas within a tumor.
Brachytherapy is a form of radiation where the radioactive source is brought close to the target tissue rather than treating it from a distance with a machine (called external beam irradiation).
Prostate seeds are small radioactive devices that are placed strategically around the prostate. These seeds give off radiation in a slow manner (called low dose rate radiation) to target cancer without effecting nearby organs.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is primarily used in medical imaging to visualize the structure and function of the body. It provides detailed images of the body in any plane. MRI has much greater soft tissue contrast than Computed Tomography (CT) making it especially useful in neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and oncological diseases. Unlike CT, it uses no ionizing radiation. The scanner creates a powerful magnetic field which aligns the magnetization of hydrogen atoms in the body. Radio waves are used to alter the alignment of this magnetization. This causes the hydrogen atoms to emit a weak radio signal which is amplified by the scanner. This signal can be manipulated by additional magnetic fields to build up enough information to reconstruct an image of the body.
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medical imaging technique that produces a three-dimensional (3D) image or map of functional processes in the body. The system detects pairs of gamma rays emitted indirectly by a positron-emitting radioisotope, which is introduced into the body on a metabolically active molecule. Images of metabolic activity in space are then reconstructed by computer analysis, often in modern scanners aided by results from a CT X-ray scan performed on the patient at the same time, in the same machine.
Computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging method employing tomography where digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the internals of an object from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation. WellSpring has the latest advancement in CT with High Resolution CT, a more accurate and detailed image allowing our doctors more information.
There is now general agreement that screening mammography reduces the rate of death from breast cancer among women who are 40 years of age or older. The overall diagnostic accuracy of digital and film mammography as a means of screening for breast cancer is similar, but digital mammography is more accurate in women under the age of 50 years, women with radiographically dense breasts and premenopausal or perimenopausal women.
The different imaging technologies each provide different types of information. The CT scan may show the bones the best and have the least geometric distortion but the MRI may give much better soft tissue definition and the PET scan may be the most reliable in separating cancer tissue from normal tissue. Often, the most accurate way to target the cancer and avoid the normal tissue is to scan the patient in the actual treatment position using several different techniques (CT, MRI or PET) and then fuse the images on the treatment planning computer, so that all the information is being used to best target the cancer. This process is called image fusion. It is most reliable when the imaging devices have been equipped with the same type of laser targeting equipment that is mounted on the radiation treatment machines.