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ETMC Breast Center extends mammography services to Henderson

 Henderson, Texas--The comprehensive diagnostic services of the ETMC Breast Center have been extended to Rusk County, with the addition of digital mammography technology at ETMC Henderson.

Revolutionary imaging technology The Selenia™ digital mammography system from Hologic® incorporates revolutionary imaging technology that provides exceedingly sharp images in less time than traditional mammography methods. This technology, now available at ETMC Henderson, is the same technology used at the ETMC Breast Center in Tyler and on the ETMC Mobile Mammography Unit.

“Digital mammography is quickly becoming the standard in breast imaging,” said John Melvin, MD, ETMC Henderson radiologist. “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.”

In addition to the technology now available, women will also appreciate the newly-updated waiting and changing areas at the ETMC Breast Center in Henderson. New furnishings, flooring and wall-coverings have been added, and a private dressing area dedicated for mammography patients has been created.

 “We are pleased to make this advanced technology available to the women of Rusk County and to have created an updated environment to match it," said Mark Leitner, ETMC Henderson administrator. "Having digital mammography available at ETMC Henderson will provide a great convenience and allow our patients to stay closer to home for this important diagnostic test.”

For patients, receiving a digital mammogram will be 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 having 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.

Dr. Melvin will work in association with Michael Klouda, MD, fellowship-trained breast radiologist at the ETMC Breast Center in Tyler. Dr. Klouda conducts weekly breast tumor conferences where specialists in all areas of cancer treatment meet to review each case, including those diagnosed at ETMC Henderson. These conferences act as second and third opinions for patients, saving valuable time in the treatment process.

New technology
The new technology, along with renovations to the mammography area, represents a nearly $320,000 investment in women’s healthcare at ETMC Henderson and a continuation of ETMC’s commitment to making the highest level of care readily accessible to the communities it serves.

“We are dedicated to bringing the best of breast care services to the rural areas of East Texas,” noted ETMC Cancer Institute Vice President Todd Sigmon.  “Digital mammography has become the gold-standard for early detection of breast cancer, and we are proud to provide this technology to the women of Henderson and Rusk County.

"Due to the high cost of digital mammography equipment, charitable support has been instrumental in advancing breast services at ETMC facilities with the goal of saving lives,” he added.  “In recent years, the Henderson Memorial Hospital Foundation supplied funding to the hospital’s mammography center, and the ETMC Foundation’s support has allowed us to upgrade to digital mammography throughout our health system.”

Call 903-655-6535 for more information or to schedule a mammogram.

The ETMC Breast Center recommends that women have a baseline mammogram at age 35, and annual mammograms beginning at age 40. The cost of an annual mammogram is covered by Medicaid, Medicare and most health insurance plans.

The East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System is East Texas’ largest healthcare system. ETMC facilities include hospitals in Athens, Carthage, Clarksville, Crockett, Fairfield, Gilmer, Henderson, Jacksonville, Mount Vernon, Pittsburg, Quitman, Trinity and Tyler.