Manistee area cancer care gets mobile with PET scan truck

Angela Schmidt is able to utilize the mobile PET truck as part of her cancer treatment.

Although October is breast cancer awareness month, its a disease that affects people and families all year round. West Shore Medical Center in Manistee is helping to make more cancer treatments and services accessible for patients in the Manistee area.

Positron Emission Tomography, or a PET scan, is a device that is now on the move. The equipment has been placed inside a truck and the staff and patients at West Shore Medical Center are seeing the benefits of using the mobile technology. Kerry Mendians is the cancer services manager as part of West Shore's Cancer, Blood and Infusion Services. She says the PET scan is a very beneficial technology and incorporating the scans will enhance any cancer treatment.

"It's a scanning device that they use to evaluate tissue and organ function in our bodies and it helps doctors to either diagnose cancer or evaluate the spread of cancer or to evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment," Mendians said.

The mobile unit can not only travel to different hospitals on a regular basis but it also provides a more detailed look at a patient's health. Angela Schmidt became a patient after she noticed a spot on her skin that spread to her breast and turned out to be cancer. She found that having the PET truck come to he made parts of treatment much easier.

"I didn't realize that I was in a truck actually until it was over with, I think its great and I wish there was more trucks out there that had equipment. Its just so convenient...Its very easy, I've had 3 so far," Schmidt said.

Previously, patients like Angela had to drive hours away for their scans where now, the truck is at West Shore Medical Center twice a month. These cancer care options have been embraced by the Manistee area, the same community that comes together every year for their annual Paint the Town Pink fundraising walk for breast cancer and West Shore.

"I think its a wonderful event. I think it just brings so much awareness and it pulls the family- not just the hospital family but the community and they just all come together for this cause," Mendians said.

There is no cost to participate in the one-mile fun walk, but donations from the heart are accepted. Paint the Town Pink will be Thursday, October 3 from 4-7 PM in Downtown Manistee.

For more information on West Shore Medical Center, visit their website.