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Cancer Imaging and Radiology

Radiology services at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center offer the latest imaging technologies to detect and help stage many types of cancers.

PET-CT Scans to Locate Tumors

At the forefront of these technologies is the PET-CT scanner.

The scanner allows doctors to find the precise location of a tumor by combining:

  • PET scans to reveal subtle metabolic processes.
  • CT scans to show high spatial resolution and precise 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.

Head and neck cancer and melanoma patients have greatly benefited from PET-CT scans.

MRI to Detect and Study Certain Cancers

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has long been a top clinical priority at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

We use advanced MRI techniques to help:

  • Detect and describe liver tumors.
  • Stage prostate cancer.
  • Gather functional information, such as tumor activity.
  • Produce flexible tissue contrast that can be sensitive to tumor formation.

MR spectroscopy reveals tumor response to therapy in the brain and has the potential to apply to other areas of the body.

In the arena of high field-strength MRI, the MRI Research Center offers both 1.5 Tesla and 3.0 Tesla research MRI systems.

The 3.0 Tesla MRI system — used mostly for neurological function studies — has the potential to help guide resection of lesions through brain activity mapping.

Ultrasound to Find and Stage Cancer

The radiology team at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center performs an array of ultrasound imaging techniques.

For example, we use ultrasound to:

  • Detect and help stage many types of pelvic cancers.
  • Further assess abnormalities in the breast found with mammography.
  • Guide biopsies of abdominal and pelvic masses.

Advanced Imaging for Breast Cancer

The Magee-Womens Breast Cancer Program provides state-of-the-art breast imaging and testing, including:

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

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

Visit the UPMC Department of Radiology website to learn more about our imaging technology and services.