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SSM cutting edge prostate cancer detection


SSM Health Illinois is now offering a cutting-edge imaging service that helps better detect prostate cancer in men. Pylarify is an advanced diagnostic imaging agent. This imaging agent is used in conjunction with PET (positron emission tomography) / CT (computed tomography) scans to locate prostate-specific cancer cells in patients. A PET scan is a type of imaging test the helps doctors find sites of disease in the human body. Once present in the body, the imaging agent lights up, helping reveal the location of the disease — typically before any other type of scan.

“As one of the only facilities in Southern Illinois now offering PET scans with Pylarify, we’re excited to provide prostate cancer patients in our community a relatively quick and accurate scan in a convenient location close to home,” states Candace Peterson, B.S., CNMT, Nuclear Medicine Supervisor at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital. Pylarify works as it attaches itself to prostate-specific membrane antigens (PSMA). This is a protein that is found on the surface of more than 90% of prostate cancer cells. Pylarify, as an imaging agent, helps provide medical doctors with a clearer, more detailed image of tumors along with the potential location and extent of the cancer. This service typically yields better results than conventional imaging scans alone and can help physicians make more informed treatment choices for their patients.

“This new service will provide better quality of care for men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer,” says Randy Shields, Regional Director of Imaging Services at SSM

Health Illinois. “This imaging agent helps our providers to pinpoint the disease in our patients so they can move forward with quicker treatment.”

Per the American Cancer Society nearly one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during some point in their life. Fortunately, the survival rate is extremely high, especially in cases where prostate cancer is diagnosed early. While prostate cancer can be diagnosed early, it’s not clear if the benefits of testing outweigh the risks, such as finding (and treating) cancers that may not cause any complications. Talk to your SSM Health primary care physician about your concerns, the risks and potential benefits of a screening before you decide.

Pictured above: (L to R): Randy Shields, Regional Director of Imaging Services at SSM Health Illinois, Eric Laughhunn, Nuclear Medicine Technologist with Shared Medical Services.

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