Diagnostic Technology and Techniques
Technological advancements have allowed for early detection of cancer, and at Winthrop's Institute for Cancer Care experts at the forefront of diagnostics use the most sophisticated technology and any number of techniques to make an initial diagnosis or confirm a suspected diagnosis.
CT scanning is a sophisticated X-ray technique enabling a three-dimensional view of the body. Winthrop’s CT scanning capabilities include an ultra-fast, multi-slice CT scanner that acquires eight images per second. With just one 15-second breath-hold by the patient, entire areas of the body can be scanned in seconds. The time saved in imaging cancer patients — many of whom must be imaged from head to toe — is significant.
Mammograms and Sterotactic Biopsies
Winthrop’s Breast Imaging Center, certified by the American College of Radiology, is equipped with the latest digital mammography and ultrasound equipment, including state-of-the-art prone stereotactic biopsy, MRI - and Ultrasound - guided breast biopsies.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to visualize the internal structure and function of the body without the use of radiation. It yields high-resolution images, which provides great contrast between the body’s different soft tissues, making it especially useful in brain and spine imaging.
Pathology and Laboratory Services
Winthrop's fully accredited on-site laboratory meets the highest standards of quality when performing specimen analysis. The Pathology Laboratory performs thousands of biopsy and tumor resection examinations each year, playing a vital role in the diagnosis and staging of disease. Additionally, advanced cytogenetic and molecular pathology techniques are used on certain tumors to try and predict their response to different chemotherapeutic agents.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning is a highly sophisticated technique that provides valuable information about organ function and structure simultaneously. PET scans can image blood flow, assess brain function, and detect and stage tumors.
Winthrop’s full nuclear medicine division uses radioactive tracers to provide information about organ function and structure.
Ultrasound examinations involve the interpretation of high-frequency sound waves as they echo off internal structures. In addition to traditional ultrasound and color Doppler studies, the Institute for Cancer Care offers endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), which can obviate the need for exploratory surgery to rule out pancreatic cancer. With the ultrasound endoscopically positioned inside the upper gastrointestinal tract, physicians are able to assess the pancreas, gallbladder, esophagus, stomach and even lungs, in order to detect the presence of tumors and stage cancers. Transvaginal ultrasound is routinely used as part of the diagnostic regimen for ovarian and other gynecological cancers.