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Diagnostics

Bozeman Health Cancer Center promotes a team approach to oncology care. We employ some of the latest diagnostic technology available, such as the most recent mammography equipment and CT scanners, and the latest platform linear accelerator with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) technology. Bozeman Health's expert cancer team also includes surgeons, radiologists, urologists, OB-GYNs, gastroenterologists, dermatologists, palliative care physicians and pathologists working together to effectively diagnose and treat cancer wherever it strikes.

Understanding that treating cancer is not solely about providing medical treatment, Bozeman Health Cancer Center provides patients with the assistance of social workers, a financial case manager and clinical patient navigators specializing in medical oncology, radiation oncology, breast care and radiology to guide patients through their treatment.

PET/CT

PET/CT combines two scans—Positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT)—in one exam. CT scans detect changes in anatomy, such as size, shape and exact location of a tumor. PET scans allow a physician to distinguish between healthy and diseased tissue or between benign and malignant tumors at a very early stage, often before these changes are otherwise apparent. Together, the two procedures provide information about the location, size and type (malignant or benign) of a lesion. PET/CT scans allow physicians to pinpoint the location of cancer within the body before making treatment recommendations or to evaluate treatment response.

Breast Biopsy

If a mammogram, MRI or ultrasound reveals the presence of a mass or suspicious breast tissue, a biopsy may be performed to determine whether or not cancer is present. Taking these tissue samples using modern procedures involves using detailed image guidance to precisely locate the target tissue and accurately guide the biopsy instruments, which is much less invasive than open surgical biopsies performed in the past. Several biopsy methods are available: stereotactic breast biopsies, ultrasound-guided breast biopsies and MRI-guided breast biopsies. In all of the procedures, tissue samples are extracted through a hollow needle, sometimes with a vacuum-assisted device, rather than through a surgical incision.

Genetic Testing (Through Shodair)

Tremendous advances are being made in understanding cancer genetics. Pre-symptomatic testing is available for many types of cancer, including breast, colon, ovary and eye cancer. Understanding genetic or environmental factors in cancer development may allow earlier detection and therefore a greater chance for a cure. Genetic evaluation and counseling is available through the Medical Genetics Program of Shodair Children's Hospital, sponsored in part by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, at its Bozeman Outreach Clinic at Bozeman Health Internal Medicine Clinic.

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