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2004 Press Releases
Morton Plant's New Combination PET CT Scanner Makes Diagnosing Cancer Easier

CLEARWATER, Fla. (October 7, 2004)- Detecting cancer just became a little easier at Morton Plant Hospital as doctors are now using an all-in-one PET/CT scanner to help in cancer detection and therapy planning. Creating one highly powerful diagnostic image, the new scanner combines two previously separate tests -- positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT).

"A PET/CT scan offers many benefits to the patient -shorter scan with more definition, earlier diagnosis and precise treatment planning," said Philip K. Beauchamp, chief executive officer and president of Morton Plant Hospital. "Better imaging leads to better treatment, which improves the prognosis for patients with cancer."

A typical PET/CT scan takes less than 30 minutes as opposed to 45 minutes to an hour for a PET scan alone. Radiation exposure is very low. A non-contrast CT scan occurs first followed by the PET scan and the data from both images are merged into one fused view. During the PET scan, a sugary, radioactive substance is given to the patient. Due to their rapid rate of cell turnover, cancer cells pick up the sugar and are highlighted on the scan.

"The PET/CT scanner integrates PET and CT technologies into a single machine," said Dr. Mary Hart, co-director of nuclear medicine at Morton Plant Hospital. "The device makes it possible to collect both anatomical and biological information during a single exam. "PET/CT technology allows us to more accurately detect cancer and pinpoint the exact location in the body," added Dr. Hart.

This integrated information permits safe, accurate tumor detection and localization for a variety of cancers, including breast, head and neck, colorectal, esophageal, melanoma, lymphoma, and lung cancer.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Hospital has joined forces with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. Earlier this year, Morton Plant was named a 100 Top Hospital in the "Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success" study for the fourth year for overall quality of care. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., 727-462-7000.


Contact: Beth Hardy Morton Plant News Bureau (727) 298-6199 Phone (727) 419-4471 Pager