KELOWNA, B.C. – World-class cancer diagnostics is coming to the Interior. The BC Cancer Foundation announced today the completion of its $5-million campaign to bring a PET/CT scanner to BC Cancer – Kelowna.
The new PET/CT scanner will reduce hardship and burden for people in the Interior who currently have to travel to Vancouver – where the province’s only two publicly-funded PET/CT scanners are located – for their scans.
“Thanks to thousands of generous donors, we are proud to say this vital technology will be closer to home for cancer patients across the Interior,” says Sarah Roth, President & CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation. “We are so incredibly grateful to our supporters for helping to lessen the burden for families facing a cancer diagnosis.”
Over 2,100 donors from across the province contributed to the campaign that will bring the most precise cancer diagnostic tool closer to home for the nearly 1,000 people who typically travel from the Interior to Vancouver for their PET/CT scans each year.
Kelowna residents Shane and Lisa Worman are among those donors. Both cancer survivors, they felt compelled to give to help make a difference for other families impacted by the disease and facing a similar situation.
“Supporting cancer research and care is paramount to us,” says Shane. “Without it, Lisa and I wouldn’t be here today and we are proud to be able to help patients in our community have access to the best in cancer care right here in Kelowna.”
PET/CT is proven in many circumstances as the most effective tool for obtaining a complete picture of a patient’s cancer, with an ability to detect cancer cells at an early stage – even before a tumour has formed.
PET/CT scans play a vital role in cancer care – from diagnosis and treatment planning to evaluating the effectiveness of treatment and determining if a patient’s cancer has spread or returned.
PET/CT can save people from unnecessary radiation treatment, chemotherapy, surgery and biopsies, says Dr. Ross Halperin, BC Cancer – Kelowna regional medical director.
“PET/CT technology enables us to make the most accurate diagnosis and provide the best treatment,” he says. “A PET/CT scanner in the Interior means patients will benefit to having access to crucial care much closer to home.”
Last September, BMO Financial Group partnered with the BC Cancer Foundation and generously matched donations up to $500,000 to support the purchase of two new PET/CT scanners for both Vancouver Island and the Interior.
With one in two British Columbians being diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, the purchase of the PET/CT scanners will ensure people facing a cancer diagnosis have access to the gold standard in cancer imaging and world-class cancer care.
Construction at BC Cancer – Kelowna where the new PET/CT scanner will be housed is set to begin in spring 2019.
To learn more about PET/CT, visit https://bccancerfoundation.com/PET-CT
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