A diagnostic imaging study is a non-invasive way to look inside the body to assist your physician with making a medical diagnosis. Various imaging machines create pictures of structures and activities occurring in your body. South Carolina Oncology Associates (SCOA) performs on-site diagnostic imaging as a convenience for our patients. SCOA’s on-site facility is the area leader in diagnostic imaging.
The American College of Radiology (ACR) has awarded the SCOA imaging center full accreditation in computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) and, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
The ACR only awards accreditation to those facilities that demonstrate the highest practice standards. To earn ACR accreditation, a facility must undergo a rigorous peer-review evaluation of its practice. This means board-certified radiologists and medical physicists have reviewed our personnel qualifications, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs, and adequacy of facility equipment, and found that our facility provides the highest level of quality care.
SCOA offers a digital radiography suite, where the equipment uses digital X-ray sensors rather than traditional photographic film. This digital imaging technology is more efficient than traditional X-rays because it provides better image quality versus conventional x-ray. Digital radiography also allows us to use less radiation dose per image, and the ability to send the image(s) to your doctors via a computer which allows for faster results.
Computed Tomography (CT) is an advanced diagnostic tool that uses a combination of X-ray and computers to produce detailed, cross sectional imaging of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues of the body.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a molecular imaging specialty that uses radiopharmaceuticals to evaluate real time metabolic and biochemical functions of tissues and organs. How your body absorbs the radiopharmaceutical can provide vital information on organ function, disease processes, staging, as well as response to ongoing treatment. With the use of a simple injection, the functional benefit of PET imaging combined with the anatomical information of CT imaging allows for earlier detection of disease compared to other imaging modalities. PET/CT imaging provides information to make a faster diagnosis allowing for timely treatment planning by your oncology team.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an imaging technique that uses a combination of a strong magnetic field, magnetic field gradients and radio waves to produce high-resolution images of the organs inside your body. When compared to other diagnostic modalities, MRI offers superior soft tissue contrast imaging that is critical in diagnosing difficult to see cancers. Since MRI is non-invasive and does not use X-ray radiation, it can play an important role in follow up imaging to ensure your cancer treatment is working as expected.
While planning for radiation treatment, SCOA utilizes a combination of CT, PET/CT and MRI to provide high quality imaging to better visualize cancerous tumors and accurately target the correct area for radiation while preserving normal, healthy tissue.
Bone densitometry, also known as bone density scanning is an enhanced form of X-ray technology that measures the density of your bones and helps your doctor determine if you have bone loss. Both bone density scanning and digital imaging provide important information about the health of your skeleton, which can help you and your doctor make decisions about your treatment.
Because SCOA has a full suite of diagnostic imaging technology on site, we can provide imaging results to patients faster than facilities without this technology. Shortening the time between capturing the image and providing results allows our doctors to start treatments earlier, when the condition may be more responsive to therapy.
SCOA has provided exceptional cancer care in Columbia for more than 40 years. Today, it remains the only comprehensive cancer treatment center in South Carolina that provides medical, radiation and gynecological oncology plus important patient support services like diagnostic radiology — all under one roof.