Flaget Memorial Hospital Offers Latest Technology In Digital Mammograms
Flaget Memorial Hospital is now offering the very latest in mammography screening with its purchase of the Selenia digital mammography unit that provides razor-sharp images of the breast. The Selenia is the first of its kind to be installed in this area.
“We are extremely excited to offer the newest technology for breast cancer detection,” said Flaget Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Patient Services Sue Downs, R.N. “Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. If detected early, a woman’s survival rate is greatly increased.”
To Dr. John Caudill, a radiologist working with the new machine at Flaget, the digital mammogram is far superior to the film version.
“Large studies have been done comparing film to digital,” the physician said. “Digital has been shown to detect cancer better in pre-menopausal women, peri-menopausal women, in women with dense breasts, and in women under the age of 50. Another study has shown digital to be more sensitive in picking up micro-calcifications associated with cancer.”
In addition, Caudill said, digital screening is superior because
• The radiologist can magnify the images and increase or decrease contrast. Electronic manipulation results in sharper images.
• There is no more waiting for film to develop, which results in quicker exam times.
• With computer-assisted diagnosis (CAD), the computer scans for masses and calcifications and highlights them, providing the radiologist with a double-check.
“I will look first for myself, and then I will go back using the CAD,” Caudill said. “The computer points out calcifications and masses.”
The system is also superior because the electronic image can be burned onto a CD that a women can take to her health care provider.
“The original stays here in the computer,” Caudill said. “That means there are no borrowed films that can get lost.”
For Director of Imaging Services Kelly Boone, continuing the use of the MammoPad with the new equipment is another bonus Flaget offers women.
“The MammoPad breast cushions can dramatically decrease the discomfort many women experience when they get a mammogram,” Boone said. “MammoPads are placed on the compression plates of the machine. They provide a softer, warmer mammogram. By combining MammoPad with Selenia, we now offer a “high-tech, soft touch” experience for women.”
Flaget continues to strive to deliver the highest quality of care for patients by acquiring advanced technologies, Boone said.
“We selected Selenia based on its excellent image quality and patient safety. By offering women the latest, most comfortable mammography technology, we hope to increase the number of area women who get regular screenings,” she said. “Research has shown that regular screenings save lives.”
Flaget’s new digital mammogram machine was purchased in part thanks to community support of the Flaget Foundation’s “Yes, Mamm!” program.