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RUMC’s Center for Cancer Care Earns American College of Radiology Accreditation

January 14, 2020 – Richmond University Medical Center’s Center for Cancer Care has been awarded three-year accreditation in positron emission tomography (PET) following a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR practice parameters and technical standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are all assessed during the review process. The Center for Cancer Care, located at 1000 South Avenue, opened in June of 2018.

PET, also called PET imaging or a PET scan, is a type of nuclear medicine imaging. Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material, ingested by the patient, to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers. Radiologists assess PET imaging to locate cancers, determine if a cancer has spread, evaluate if a cancer-related treatment is effective, and to see if there is a re-occurrence of cancer in a patient. Since cancer cells have a higher metabolic rate than normal cells, they appear as bright spots on PET scans. Solid tumors common with some forms of cancer can be detected through the use of a PET scan, including brain, cervical, colorectal, lung, prostate and thyroid.

“We are honored to have earned the ACR’s accreditation,” chief administration officer Richard Salhany said.  “While more cases of cancer are diagnosed in Staten Island than the rest of the city, the rate of cancer related deaths is similar to the rest of the city and lower than the national rate. This means cancers are being identified and treated effectively at places like our Center for Cancer Care, which provides the most advanced treatments available and utilizes the latest technology modern medicine has to offer.”

According to the New York State Department of Health, from 2011 to 2015, the rate of all cancers combined on Staten Island was 16 percent higher than the rest of New York City and three percent higher than the rest of New York State. The Health Department also reported that during the same time period, Staten Island residents were diagnosed with thyroid cancer 67 percent more than the rest of the city’s boroughs and 69 percent more than the rest of New York State. According to department, the Staten Island lung cancer incidence rate is also the highest in New York City. This finding is consistent with higher smoking rates among Staten Island adults and youth then the other boroughs. Staten Island also has the highest lung cancer death rate among the New York City boroughs.

The PET accreditation comes less than four months after RUMC’s Breast and Women’s Center was awarded accreditation by the ACR for its comprehensive mammography, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy and ultrasound guided biopsy services. The Breast and Women’s Center is located at 1161 Victory Boulevard and opened in October 2018. Richmond University Medical Center’s oncology program has also been accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer for over 80 consecutive years, making it the longest accredited cancer program on Staten Island.

“We are extremely proud of our long and distinguished history of providing a nationally accredited oncology program to Staten Island and its neighboring communities,” president and chief executive officer, Dr. Daniel J. Messina said. “The recent ACR accreditations for our Breast and Women’s Center and now the Center for Cancer Care are proof that the most advanced technology and cancer care is here on Staten Island. People do not need to travel all the way to Manhattan when the same life-saving treatments are available only minutes from their front door.”

Founded in 1924, the ACR is a professional medical society dedicated to serving patients by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science and professions of radiological care.