Current appeal

We are asking for your support in purchasing one of the most advanced tools for both diagnosing and treating cancer available in the world today.

Known as a PET/CT, this technology is a critical part of best-practice cancer treatment, and we urgently need to make it available to patients at Epworth HealthCare.

Our radiologists are trained in the use of PET/CT scanning and, as one of the biggest cancer-hospitals in Australia, we have thousands of patients who will benefit. All we need now is your help to raise the funds needed to immediately purchase and install this life-saving equipment.

Epworth Medical Foundation has committed to raise $1 million towards the purchase and installation of a PET/CT scanner and in this, we urgently need your help.

This is one of the most ambitious fundraising targets we have ever set, but the difference it will make to our patients, both now and in the future, will be truly outstanding. The hospital will only be able to proceed with the purchase of a PET/CT scanner after we have raised the $1 million we need, and so I ask that you give generously, today, to help make this happen.

I want to take a little moment to tell you more about how the PET/CT scanner works and what it will do for our patients, because the way the technology operates is quite fascinating.

PET stands for ‘positron emission tomography,’ and it is a medical imaging procedure that provides unique information about how an organ or system in the body is working.

A scan involves the painless injection of a small amount of a ‘positron-emitting’ radioactive material (called a radiopharmaceutical), which is then scanned as it travels through the body. The camera detects emissions coming from the injected radiopharmaceutical, and areas where the radiopharmaceutical gathers (such as around fast-growing cancer-cells) stand out as brighter than normal tissue.

In a PET/CT scanner, these images are combined with a CT scan – on the same bed at the same time, so the patient only has to undergo one procedure – to provide specialists with a picture of unparalleled detail, concerning the patient’s health.

The scans reveal changes in patients’ metabolisms, and reveal how organs and tissues are working. A PET/CT scan can create an image of the entire body, meaning that for some cancers, it will show if and where the cancer is spreading to other parts of the body.

The end result is that many cancers can be detected on a PET/CT scanner before they can be seen using any other medical imaging technique.

And when it comes to cancer, early detection saves lives.

Beyond early detection of cancers, the PET/CT scanner also provides our specialists with the ability to target cancer treatments and therapies towards genetic abnormalities.

According to Dr James Sheldon, a consultant radiologist and nuclear medicine specialist at Epworth HealthCare, most cancers are the result of several changes in the genetic material of a patient, which, over time, give rise to cancer.

The PET/CT scanner will give Epworth doctors like Dr Sheldon the gold standard in imaging, enabling them to identify genomic abnormalities faster and with more accuracy than ever before, ensuring patients receive both better outcomes and greater comfort.

In addition, the scanner will be used to differentiate between benign and malignant tumours; selecting the best tumour regions in order to guide surgeons during biopsies; and to assist in pre-surgical planning. It is used in the evaluation of disease response to chemotherapy or radiotherapy, ensuring oncologists can provide each individual patient with the best possible treatment plan, to ensure they achieve the best possible health outcomes.

With a PET/CT scanner installed at Epworth HealthCare, we intend to establish a Nuclear Medicine service, providing the highest standard of care for patients with an increasing number of diseases and conditions, both cancerous and non-cancerous.

The technology will also provide us with advanced research opportunities, particularly with neurology and prostate applications, enabling us to increase and enhance our research activities, and giving our patients first-access to cutting-edge trials and new treatments.

One of our most senior cancer specialists, Professor Miles Prince, told me recently that “PET/CT scanning is a major part of modern management and personalised treatment of many oncology patients. In addition PET/ CT scans are used routinely in virtually all clinical trials. It provides the most accurate and reproducible assessment of the patient’s disease and the impact of treatment.”

Furthermore, he said, “It is essential that this tool be easily available to our patients at Epworth.”

I’m sure you know that our goal at Epworth Medical Foundation is to ensure that each and every one of our patients receives the very best possible care when they come to us.

That means the absolute best outcomes, obviously. But it also means that their experience during their time with us – their physical comfort, their emotional care, the environment in which they stay and receive treatments, and even the attention to the comfort of their visitors and loved ones – is consistently top-of-mind for all of us as we go about our days.

For this reason, I can’t help but agree with Professor Prince: this is state-of-the-art imaging technology is integral to the very best in cancer-care and it is essential that a PET/CT scanner be made available to our patients – and as soon as possible!

Epworth is one of the largest cancer-hospitals in Australia, and we urgently need to purchase this equipment to ensure our patients continue to receive the gold standard in cancer-care.

Please make a generous donation today, to help us purchase and install this equipment at Epworth.

Dowload our brochure for more information on the PET/CT Scanner here.

Please donate today.

For more information, please feel free to contact Kathleen Lambrick at Epworth Medical Foundation on 03 9426 8170.