RMC Radiology Performs Advanced Diagnostic Testing for Cancers


State-of-the-art diagnostic imaging techniques provide advanced views and earlier diagnosis
for breast, prostate and lung cancer.

RMC Radiology services offer new techniques to help patients like Sebrina Collins of Branchville with detection, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses so patients can receive the care they need. 

The Regional Medical Center (RMC) Radiology department offers digital mammography, low-dose CT and prostate MRI scans to detect cancers and other abnormalities.

“The Radiology department at the Regional Medical Center has highly-specialized and certified radiologists and technicians who are dedicated to providing the highest quality care to the community,” said Daniel Reidman, DO, medical director of RMC Radiology. “Our goal is to provide superior medical imaging to detect, diagnose and guide treatment so that patients can get the best possible care.”

3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT)

DBT screening is a new technique used to diagnose and guide treatment for breast cancer. DBT is produced using multiple low-dose x-ray images taken in an arc around the breast, and that data is reformatted by computer into multiple slices, similar to a CT scan. DBT has the advantages of increased sensitivity and specificity, allowing providers to see more detail than with traditional 2D mammography. This means more cancer detected and fewer callbacks for patients without cancer. DBT is especially effective for women with dense breast tissue, and offers a much lower radiation dose than CT scans.

RMC is preparing for the arrival of DBT with upgrades to the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) and associated hardware as DBT involves large amounts of digital data. DBT is recommended in conjunction with the standard four-image screening mammogram.

“We are expecting 3D Tomosynthesis to become the standard of care for breast imaging in the near future,” said Scott Habakus, DO, medical director of the RMC Breast Health Center and Mobile Mammography.

Accredited by the American College of Radiology, the RMC Breast Health Center offers the Breast Screening Pathway (BSP) to reduce wait times for the patient if an abnormality is detected. BSP starts with an open-order from a primary care provider that allows patients to begin with a screening mammogram, advance through any additional imaging, an image-guided biopsy, and surgical consultations as needed in a 24 to 48 hour timeframe. BSP mammograms are classified as STAT and are interpreted immediately. This allows the patient to receive the results of their screening prior to leaving their initial appointment, rather than waiting for a phone call or a letter in the mail.

Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT)

LDCT is quickly becoming a preferred technique to diagnose lung cancer earlier than previously used x-ray methods and before patients show symptoms, as death rates are higher once a patient is already symptomatic. LDCT reduces radiation exposure by as much as 90% compared to standard chest CT. Cumulative radiation exposure for 10-year annual LDCT is roughly equivalent to one standard chest CT.

LDCT, when performed annually, can be very effective at catching carcinoma in the lungs at stage 1. A recent study by the National Cancer Institute demonstrated 20 percent fewer lung cancer deaths among the trial participants screened with LDCT compared to standard x-ray.

Based on the results of the clinical trial, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Lung Association, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American Society of Clinical Oncologists, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society and the American Cancer Society all now recommend that individuals at high-risk for developing lung cancer consider annual screening with LDCT.

Medicare will now cover lung cancer screening with LDCT once per year for beneficiaries who do not have symptoms and meet certain criteria. The RMC Lung Cancer Screening Coordinator works with patients to determine if they qualify for an annual LDCT screening.

Prostate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

RMC is performing a new screening to better diagnose prostate cancer in men. A simple blood test detects prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the patient’s blood. The Society of Urology and the American Cancer Society recommend PSA screening for high risk patients (African Americans and anyone who has a first degree relative with prostate cancer) starting at age 40, or for anyone over 50. If the PSA is elevated, a urology consultation is recommended and a prostate MRI screening may be ordered.

Using a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer, a prostate MRI creates pictures of the soft tissue structure of the prostate gland, revealing cancer, infection, or other abnormalities. Contrast dye is used to illuminate different sections to help better view the affected area. MRI and ultrasound fusion-guided biopsy is then used to take a sample of the suspected cancer. This technique is 80 percent more effective in obtaining diagnostic results on the first biopsy, instead of receiving multiple negative biopsies with contrasting bloodwork showing an increase in PSA. Receiving earlier and more accurate results can lead to better outcomes for patients with prostate cancer.

For more information on these screenings contact your primary care provider or the RMC Radiology Department at 803-395-2365.

About the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg & Calhoun Counties

Owned by Orangeburg and Calhoun counties, the Regional Medical Center (RMC) healthcare system includes a 286-bed, acute-care hospital accredited by The Joint Commission with Advanced Primary Stroke Center certification and a Level III Trauma Center designation, as well as 22 primary care and specialty care practices. RMC is affiliated with MUSC Health, the most nationally recognized and comprehensive academic teaching facility in South Carolina, to further enhance select healthcare services for patients in the region.

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