AWH's $5 million PET / CT scanner facility, designed to detect and monitor cancer, commenced operation on 28 November 2013 and undertook approximately 50 scans during its first week of operation.
The PET / CT scanner enables early and accurate identification of the presence of cancer, the degree of any spread and effective monitoring of treatment - both during and at follow up visits.
Previously, patients have had to travel to Melbourne, Sydney or Canberra to access these services, now - thanks to the continued efforts and vision of the Albury Wodonga Community to improve local cancer services - a state of the art facility, equivalent to those in the metropolitan areas is available locally.
Dr Craig Underhill, Director of Oncology at AWH said that the establishment of the facility is "one of those once in a decade events that will make a real difference in the treatment of cancer locally."
The service is operated by Regional Imaging (a member of the I-Med Network) and complements the essential medical imaging services available at the two hospitals of Albury Wodonga Health.
Located at the Albury Hospital, Borella Road, the PET / CT scanner examine 8 patients a week - on two days. The number of patients per week can be increased as demand grows, it is anticipated that the service will double testing within the year.
During 2014, an additional application will be established that enables the PET / CT scanner to be used to help accurately plan radiotherapy treatments of cancer.
In conjunction with the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre, the PET / CT facility equips Albury Wodonga Health with the tools to continually embed itself as a leading regional health service.