New PET/CT scanner coming to Kelowna

A brand new PET/CT scanner is coming to Kelowna to keep up with the increasing need for cancer treatment in British Columbia.

This device detects cancer cells at an early stage before they can form a tumour, saving patients from having to undergo radiation or chemotherapy.

Sarah Roth, CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation, says they were able to fundraise $5 million in one year to bring the scanner to Kelowna.

“We’ve had a tremendous response from donors in the Interior who are very grateful to BC Cancer Kelowna for the extraordinary care provided to those in the community,” says Roth. “As this technology becomes more efficient, I think that this will make a huge difference in the community.”

Approximately 1,000 cancer patients a year go to Vancouver, where the only two PET/CT scanners can be found in the province. By this approximate time next year, there will be four across BC: the two in Vancouver, the one in Kelowna, and another new one in Victoria.  

Roth says this will be vital in the coming years, as the number of cancer cases continues to go up in BC.

“Sadly we will see an increase in cancer cases just due to the demographics of our population,” says Roth. “We’re all aging, and now the statistic is that one out of two of us will get cancer in our lifetime.”

The facility where the PET/CT scanner will be located in Kelowna is set to begin construction in spring of 2019.