“Cancer tests can be scary but they’re so kind and friendly that I stay calm. I know that they’ll take great care of me no matter what the results are.”
– Marlyn

Diagnostic Testing

We have onsite radiology imaging (PET and CT scans) and a lab to help make diagnostic tests timely and convenient. Whether you’re coming to us because your doctor suspects you may have cancer or if you’ve already been diagnosed we’re here to help you through the process. We’ll ease your mind by explaining everything that will happen, how long things will take and when you will hear the results.

Time frames for lab tests or scan results are:

  • Medical imaging/scans: 48 hours
  • Tumor markers: 48 hours
  • Bone marrow: 5-7 days
  • Pathology reports: 3-5 days
Our Lab

You may need regular blood or urine tests throughout your treatment to learn more about how your cancer is affecting other parts of your body. These tests give us valuable information to help us know how best to treat you and keep you as healthy as possible during the treatment process.  We can:

  • Establish baseline measurements before you begin treatment so we can compare future treatments to your original results
  • Determine which treatment may be appropriate
  • Verify that a treatment has been effective
  • Find subtle changes during routine check-ups before you develop symptoms of a disease
  • Find clues that may indicate the reason you are experiencing symptoms
  • Monitor the cancer to see if it has gotten better, stayed the same or gotten worse
PET/CT Scans

An integrated PET/CT scan is the most advanced imaging technology for the detection and evaluation of cancer. A PET/CT scan provides images of the entire body and generates high-resolution images of abnormal activity and its location. Abnormal activity often takes place before physical changes are identifiable by other types of imaging such as MRI, CT, x-ray and ultrasound. The scan detects primary and secondary disease earlier and more accurately than other imaging technology. Before having a PET scan, your doctor may order a series of x-rays, MRIs or CTs. Our team will work with your doctor and insurance payer to determine which test is most appropriate based on your diagnosis and symptoms.

Our doctors use PET/CT images to:

  • Identify disease often before it shows up on other exams
  • Determine whether or not the cancer has spread (the stage of the cancer)
  • See how the body has responded to chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery
  • Eliminate ineffective or unnecessary surgical or medical treatments
  • Detect recurrence of cancer early.
What to expect
Our PET/CT technologist will bring you from the waiting room to a small, private and comfortable room. You will receive an injection of a small amount of radioactive glucose (also known as sugar) through an IV in your arm. You may feel a “warm” sensation when the radioactive glucose is injected. Then you relax and wait for approximately an hour while the radioactive sugar circulates in your body. After about one hour, our technologist will position you on the scanner. The PET/CT scan takes about 30-45 minutes. The radioactive sugar is short-lived and will leave your body quickly, it is important to drink plenty of water following your scan to flush the sugar out of your body.
During the scan, you will be exposed to a minimal amount of radiation, however, we believe the benefits of the information provided by the scan outweigh the small potential risk. Please let us know if you have any concerns about this exposure.
Typically, you will get scan results in 48 hours.
CT Scans

A CT scan (often called a CAT scan) is a special type of x-ray that takes cross-sectional images (like slices of bread) of bones, lungs, lymph nodes, blood vessels and other organs. These images are used to diagnose and pinpoint diseases or injury. If a cancer diagnosis is confirmed, your healthcare team will use the images to plan your care with a medical, surgical and/or radiation oncologists. Once treatment starts, CT scans are used to monitor your condition and the effectiveness of treatments.

What to expect
Our CT technologist will bring you from the waiting room into the imaging suite and help you get properly positioned and comfortable on the scanner table.
PLEASE notify us immediately if you are aware of any allergy to contrast dyes, shellfish or have diabetes before you are scheduled for a scan. Most dyes are flushed from your body via the kidneys, so some patients who are over the age of 50 may need a blood test to make sure the kidneys are functioning properly prior to the scan.
Often a special “contrast material” called dye is needed to help make specific organs stand out to better show the areas being examined. Contrast can be given through an IV (injected in a vein using a small needle), by mouth or by enema depending on what area of your body is being scanned. IV contrast is used to help highlight your blood vessels, liver, urinary tract, gallbladder or liver. You may have a warm sensation and metallic taste in your mouth during the injection. Contrast by mouth is used to help highlight your stomach or esophagus and bowels. You will be asked to drink the contrast liquid 1 – 1 ½ hours before the scan. Contrast material may be inserted through an enema to highlight the intestines. Again, please be sure to drink plenty of water following your scan to flush the “dye” from your body.
During the scan, you will be exposed to a minimal amount of radiation, however, we believe the benefits of the information provided by the scan outweigh the small potential risk. Please let us know if you have any concerns about this exposure.
The scan takes 15-60 minutes depending on the area of the body that is being scanned. Typically, scan results are available in 48 hours.