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Cancer Imaging and Radiology

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center uses imaging technologies that detect, stage, and often treat many types of cancers.

PET-CT Scans to Locate Tumors

The PET-CT scanner lets doctors detect all types of tumors and metastatic disease and find the precise site of tumors.

  • PET scans detect disease at a molecular level.
  • CT scans show details of the body's organs.

UPMC's PET facility became home to the first PET-CT scanner in 1998. We've used this technology in more than 10,000 cases to date.

MRI to Detect and Study Certain Cancers

The MRI scanner:

  • Stages prostate cancer.
  • Gathers data on tumor activity.
  • Produces contrast that detects tumors.

MR spectroscopy shows how a brain tumor is responding to treatment. It can also apply to other parts of the body.

Our MRI Research Center offers both 1.5 Tesla and 3.0 Tesla research MRI systems. These are both high field-strength MRIs. High field strength MRI means more precise and shorter scans.

The 3.0 Tesla MRI system can help guide the resection of lesions through brain activity mapping.

Ultrasound to Find and Stage Cancer

Ultrasound helps doctors:

  • Find and help stage many types of pelvic cancers.
  • Assess changes found in a mammogram.
  • Guide biopsies of the belly or pelvis.

Advanced Imaging for Breast Cancer

The UPMC Breast Cancer Program provides state-of-the-art breast scans and tests, including:

  • Full-field digital mammography.
  • Digital and analog computer-aided diagnosis (CAD).
  • Breast MRI system and high-res ultrasound.
  • Stereotactic and ultrasound-guided, vacuum-assisted breast biopsy.

Magee is pursuing funded research in digital mammography, CAD, and breast MRI.

Interventional Radiology for Cancer

Experts at Hillman Cancer Center use interventional radiology to diagnose and treat cancer.

We use imaging technology to place catheters inside the body. These catheters treat cancer without surgery.

Some procedures:

  • Stop the blood supply to a tumor.
  • Kill the cancerous tissue itself.
  • May reduce risk, pain, and recovery time.

Most of these are on an outpatient basis.

Procedures include:

  • Tumor ablation. These treatments destroy tumors using extreme heat or cold.
  • Vascular techniques. These treatments place stents, stop bleeding, or block the flow of blood to or from tumor tissue.
  • Drainage catheters. These tubes drain excess fluid to relieve discomfort.

Learn more about the high-tech imaging services at UPMC.