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Palos Offers New Technology in the Fight Against Breast Cancer
Date:11/1/2011

PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill., Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When it comes to breast cancer, a physician's ability to accurately stage a tumor and determine the best course of treatment depends on the quality of information revealed through diagnostic imaging tests. Once again, Palos Community Hospital offers patients the most advanced technology in breast cancer detection with positron emission mammography, or PEM. It is one of only two PEM scanners in the Chicagoland area.

Essentially, PEM is a specially designed positron emission tomography (PET) scanner for imaging breasts and other small body parts. For decades, PET has been a critical tool in the treatment of cancer. Just as PET uses injected radioactive isotopes to locate cancer cells throughout the entire body, PEM does the same but on a much smaller scale and with greater accuracy than breast MRI. PEM generates 12 tomographic slices per view, offering a 3-D perspective of the breast. With PEM, physicians can detect tumors as small as 2 mm, about the width of a grain of rice.

"PEM images show the location of suspicious masses, giving physicians a map upon which they can base treatment options and/or surgical plans," says Vicki McFarlane, administrative director for Imaging Services. "This technology allows doctors to better determine candidates for breast conserving surgery or lumpectomy. PEM also may be used to monitor treatments or to check for recurrence of disease."

Because PEM is a more advanced diagnostic tool, it is not recommended as a general screening test for all patients. But for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, PEM provides the most advanced technology available to help fight the disease.

PEM scans are available at the Palos Diagnostic Center in Tinley Park. Patients with an order may schedule a PEM by calling (708) 923-8120. The Palos Diagnostic Center located in the Alpha Med building at 17333 S. LaGrange Rd. in Tinley Park.

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