Woodstock resident, Scott Totten never expected an ultrasound to be such an important part of his diagnosis with prostate cancer. 

Like many men in their fifties, Scott went for a physical exam. He was referred to Dr. Philippe Violette after his blood test came back with high levels of PSA, the amount of prostate-specific antigens in a man’s blood.

Dr. Violette felt a nodule in Scott’s prostate and suggested he have a transrectal biopsy, a procedure that takes about ten minutes and is meant to obtain tissue samples that can be analysed by a pathologist for prostate cancer.

“In the past I’ve had exams, all of which came back with acceptable results,” recalled Scott, “so I was surprised that this procedure revealed that I have prostate cancer.”

The ultrasound is an essential tool in performing a biopsy enabling the doctor to visualize the anatomy. “It’s truly amazing what an ultrasound can do,” stated Scott. “It helped guide the probe to the right location creating a smoother procedure. It’s far less invasive, which made my procedure more efficient, providing better results. It makes what you’re going through a better experience.”

Woodstock Hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging Department completes approximately 15,000 ultrasound exams each year on four ultrasound units, but there is a demand for close to 20,000 exams annually.

“Everybody in the hospital uses ultrasound. The tool has many uses in men, women, children and seniors to gain advanced insights into the inner workings of the body.” stated Derek Coenen, Director of Diagnostic Imaging. “A fifth ultrasound unit will help us add more tests per week, which will decrease wait times and allow Woodstock Hospital to deliver better patient care.”

A shorter wait time will mean a quicker diagnosis and faster treatment for Woodstock Hospital patients, whether that is to help guide biopsies, diagnose heart conditions, or monitor pregnancies.

“Ultrasound imaging can reduce the number of unnecessary procedures which is a priority in the case of prostate cancer since many men can be actively monitored through transrectal biopsies,” said Dr. Violette. “Having another ultrasound will allow our patients to have better access and better care.”

Scott has since had a repeat biopsy which was reassuring and as a result he continues to be actively monitored. “No matter how surprised I was of my diagnosis, the experience was the best I could have asked for,” thanked Scott.  

During the holidays, as you think about how you might give to others, we hope you’ll consider a gift to the Woodstock Hospital Foundation. A new ultrasound unit costs $220,000 and we need your help to make this a reality for Woodstock Hospital.

Please give generously to support the purchase of a new ultrasound unit. Your gift today will help more patients like Scott have better access to lifesaving technology.


We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season,

Ann Ash

Chair, Woodstock Hospital Foundation



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