Medical Diagnostic Technology and Techniques at Winthrop University Hospital Cancer Center
At the Forefront of Cancer Care
Incredible advances have been made in recent years in the treatment and diagnosis of cancer, and technological advancements in cancer diagnostics have allowed for early detection. At Winthrop's Cancer Center, specialists at the forefront of diagnostic science use the most sophisticated technology and techniques to make an initial diagnosis or confirm a suspected diagnosis.
Due to the evolving complexity of cancer, the rapid advancements in research and the enormous amounts of clinical data generated daily, it is now essential that research, medical diagnostic technology and treatment protocols be comprehensively coordinated through disease-oriented teams to ensure this progress in the fight against cancer is perpetuated.
Advanced Cancer Diagnostics Lead to the Best Care. Now.
Some tests determine the stage of cancer, and others help our doctors decide on a treatment plan. The most common cancer diagnostics are described below. When choosing which diagnostic tests to utilize, your doctor will consider your age and medical condition, the type of cancer suspected, the severity of the symptoms, and previous test results.
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, Winthrop’s Cancer Center 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.