Scanning for Answers
You would have to travel at least 85
miles from Sioux City to find another
one. In Iowa, the next closest one
is in Des Moines. So, when there’s
something like this, right here in
your community, you need to get the
word out! Especially when it could
save men’s lives. That’s how Dr. Greg
Naden feels about the new Axumin
PET/CT scan right here in downtown
Sioux City at the June E. Nylen
Cancer Center (JENCC).
If your PSA (prostate-specific
antigen) starts to creep up for no
apparent reason, even after you’ve
had surgery or treatment for
prostate cancer, you could be
a candidate for an Axumin scan.
Dr. Naden, Board Certified
Radiation Oncologist at JENCC,
says, “Physicians have been
frustrated in the past because
there has not been a way to
evaluate a man for prostate cancer
recurrence. The Axumin isotope
has changed that.”
Dr. Naden goes on to explain that
this new scan is “like a PET scan
essentially, but it’s using a different
isotope. This one is sensitive to
the prostate specific antigen (PSA),
which is why it is used selectively
for prostate cancer.” JENCC has
had an in-house PET (positron
emission tomography) scanner for
close to 10 years.
Mason Jensen, CNMT, NMTCB,
one of two JENCC nuclear
medicine technologists certified
in PET/CT, explains, “An isotope is
a radiopharmaceutical (radioactive
drug) that we use for our scans.
Certain isotopes, like Axumin,
can be specific to a certain area of
Standard scans have been unable
to determine the specific location of
cancer until the PSA is excessively
elevated (10 to 30 or higher).
Axumin can detect recurrent
disease with PSA levels less than 10, which is the reason this scan is such
an important development.
“There are also going to be
situations where the PSA is
behaving in a very unusual way,
like if we treat it with radiation for
instance, or hormones, and for
some reason the PSA isn’t going
down,” adds Dr. Naden. “This is
going to be a great scan to evaluate
that. That’s exciting.”
The amount of time for each scan is
determined based on each patient’s
height and weight. The amount of
time for the entire scanning process
will vary, but scans usually take 35-40 minutes.
When you’re faced with the
possibility of prostate cancer
coming back, it’s stressful enough
to think of going through treatment
again. Finally having an option to
get answers – without traveling
hundreds of miles – can help manage that stress and take away any fear of
“You understand that when you get a patient
from the lobby and see how scared they are,”
shares Mason. “You always have to keep
that in the back of your mind… It’s definitely
important to be positive.”
Going to a place like JENCC, right here in Sioux
City, where everyone you meet understands and
cares, makes a difference. And when employees
feel like Mason does, it shows.
“The people I’ve worked with have been a joy.
It’s not like you’re going to work every day. You’re
working with your family,” explains Mason.
World-class cancer care close to you. By
people who treat each other – and you – like
family. What you need, when you need it
most. To get the answers you need. That’s the
June E. Nylen Cancer Center.
230 Nebraska St., Sioux City, IA 51101