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Digital mammography now available

 New digital mammography equipment just installed at ETMC Fairfield offers clearer images of the breast, taken in less time.

With the purchase of the Selenia™ digital mammography system from Hologic®, ETMC Fairfield provides the same technology used in leading breast imaging centers nationwide.
“Digital mammography is quickly becoming the standard in breast imaging,” said Anne Brooke, radiology department director. “Mammography is the best tool for early detection of breast abnormalities, giving patients a much better chance of survival and leading a long, productive life.”

For patients, receiving a digital mammogram is much the same as before -- both use X-rays to generate images of the breast. However, instead of using film to capture and record the image, a digital mammogram uses a special detector to capture and convert the X-ray energy into a digital image. It’s similar to the evolution between film-based photography and digital photography, in that film development is no longer necessary and the digital images are immediately available to the radiologist for evaluation.

The radiologist can view and manipulate the images on high-resolution computer monitors to enhance their clarity, reducing the likelihood of patients needing to come back for additional images. They can also adjust brightness and contrast, and zoom in on specific areas to help detect small calcifications, masses and other changes that may be signs of early cancer.

To further help with interpreting mammograms at ETMC Fairfield, the R2 ImageChecker Computer-Aided Detection system will be used to scan images and mark areas of calcification, distortion and small masses, producing a video display for the radiologist that indicates potential abnormalities requiring further study.

In addition, women undergoing mammography at ETMC Fairfield can appreciate that the hospital uses the MammoPadR, which dramatically eases the discomfort many women feel when they get a mammogram.

“The discomfort many women feel during mammography compression is widely known to be a reason that some don't get regular screenings,” Ms. Brooke said. In addition to compression, the cold surfaces and hard edges of the mammography device can make the experience uncomfortable for some patients.

“The breast cushion answers these complaints by providing a soft warm cushion for the breast during mammography,” she explained. "And because women are more relaxed during the exam, it makes it even easier for our mammography technologists to get the best possible image."

To schedule an appointment for a mammogram at ETMC Fairfield, please call 903-389-1625. Women undergoing screening mammography at ETMC Fairfield must meet these criteria: at least 35 years of age, not experiencing any symptoms of breast disease, not pregnant or nursing, and they cannot have undergone a mammogram within the last year.




Originally posted June 2 2010