Digital mammography

The ETMC Breast Care Center uses the Selenia digital mammography system from Hologic which incorporates revolutionary imaging technology that provides exceedingly sharp images in less time than traditional mammography methods. This same digital technology is also available on the ETMC Mobile Mammography Unit.

From the patient’s point of view, a digital mammogram is like traditional film screen mammography. 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.

The resulting digital images are immediately available to the radiologist for evaluation. The radiologist can view and manipulate the images on high-resolution computer monitors that enhance visualization of the structures within the breast tissue, 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. Because there is no waiting for film to be developed, it can significantly reduce the time patients spend in the breast center, as well as reduce the need for repeat exams due to under or over exposure. Also, digital images are easily stored and transferred electronically.

The American Cancer Society recommends that all women receive annual mammograms beginning at age 40. When detected in its early stages, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer patients is 95 percent. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer.

Statistics demonstrate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her life.