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Kettering Health Network (ketteringhealth.org)
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Breakthrough Technology Detects Tumor in Two-time Breast Cancer Survivor


November 17, 2020

Kettering Medical Center’s most advanced technology of its kind, cyclotron, detects disease in its early stage. A local survivor, Jan Hillman, credits the cyclotron technology for saving her life.

“There needs to be more awareness in the power of PET, especially in the way of diagnosing cancer,” said Jan Hillman, two-time breast cancer survivor. “It’s powerful, it’s accurate, and people deserve that kind of treatment if they need it.”

Cyclotron, a highly specialized nuclear medicine tool, provides patients with early, more precise diagnoses and improved outcomes using state-of-the-art diagnostic positron emission tomography (PET) imaging.

This diagnostic and clinical approach was used to diagnose and treat Jan, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1986 and again in 1997. A PET scan with the cyclotron technology showed the tumor in her right breast, which leads to the diagnosis of breast cancer again. Jan has had no relapses since and fully recovered.

PET produces a three-dimensional image of functional processes in the body. By injecting radiochemical agent (tracer) via cyclotron into a patient, the PET scan can see the disease before it can be seen using traditional imaging such as an MRI or CT scan.

“This technology allows us to better characterize a disease process which is a huge advantage in the fight against cancer and other diseases,” said Raymond Poelstra, MD, neurological surgeon for Kettering Health Network. “Having this technology that provides early detection, gives us the opportunity to treat the disease sooner, and thereby improve the patient’s chance of a better outcome.”

Kettering Health Network has invested in the newest version of the cyclotron technology and upgraded PET imaging capabilities to continue providing advanced treatment options.