A PET/CT scanner. Photo credit: Contributed

Cancer scanner campaign halfway to its goal

Push on to acquire technology for Southern Interior cancer treatment centre in Kelowna.

The B.C. Cancer Foundation is halfway towards its goal of raising $5 million to acquire a PET/CT scanner for the cancer treatment centre for the Southern Interior located in Kelowna.

Sarah Roth, president and chief executive officer of the BCCF, said she hopes the region that relies on the B.C. Cancer Agency Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre can help finish the campaign in the coming months.

She said a pair of the state-of-the-art technology scanners are located in Vancouver, forcing Interior residents to travel to the coast to access the diagnostic machines.

“Our foundation has partnered with the ministry of health to bring this imaging machine to Kelowna so that people in the southern Interior will no longer have to travel to Vancouver,” Roth said.

“The scanner imaging allows physicians to see exactly where the cancer is in the body, how progressive it is, and make informed decisions on treatment protocols. Without access to such precise imaging, visuals can be more challenging to understand what is happening with the cancer and the precise treatment required.”

Related: New CT scanner for cancer

Kelowna resident Jeremy King, a cancer survivor, said the PET/CT scanner in Kelowna would have been a relief to the stress endured by him and his family in dealing with a tumour detected in his neck that originated from his tonsils.

“My wife and I had to make a couple of trips on the Coquihalla during this time of year to receive diagnosis and treatment, and now being on the other side of it, I wouldn’t want to wish that on anyone,” said King, commenting on the hazards of driving to Vancouver in the winter months.

“It’s hard if you have little kids. Some people have to take the bus or rely on others for transportation. And some people can’t make the trip because they are elderly or too sick.

“So I am here today in support of the foundation to bring awareness and help raise funds for this CT machine. It is very much needed in the Okanagan.”

King was one of the speakers at the B.C. Cancer Foundation 2017 Discovery Luncheon fundraiser held today at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, co-sponsored by BMO and Sentes Automotive.

Related: BMO goes dollar-for-dollar to help

He said for his type of cancer, the PET/CT diagnostic scanning was an important part of developing his treatment plan, which has since led him to be declared one-year cancer free, a significant milestone for any cancer patient.

“It is important because the radiation treatments can be targeted where it needs to be, and the other side is it provided a path to achieving an all-clear at the end of the treatment.”

For more information on how to donate, go to https://bccancerfoundation.com

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