MCH Launches Digital Mammography
Friday, July 18, 2014
The American Cancer Society estimates that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. In Mitchell County, on average, 18 new incidences of breast cancer are reported every year. The disease, which remains the most common cancer among women besides skin cancer, is also the second-leading cause of cancer death.
However, recent statistics show fewer U.S. women are dying from breast cancer each year, and experts say the improvement is likely due to advances in treatment and screening methods.
This month, Archbold’s Mitchell County Hospital will add digital mammography to the hospital’s list of services offered in Mitchell County.
“Digital mammography is considered the gold standard of care in imaging for detecting breast cancer early and in its most treatable stages,” said Mary Bailey, family nurse practitioner at Pelham Primary Care.
The technology uses compression and x-rays to image breast tissue, but instead of capturing it on film, it is captured on a digital image file which is stored directly onto a computer.
“Digital images reviewed on a computer allow the radiologist to lighten and enlarge the images if needed,” said Jennifer Ruddell, physician assistant at Medical Group of Mitchell County and a certified MammaCare Specialist. “Also, because the images are stored on a computer, they’re able to send the images to other radiologists and specialists for further review more quickly than if using conventional mammography films.”
Ruddell said, “This technology is more accurate than film at detecting cancer in women younger than 50 and in women who have dense breast tissue. It also has the capability to help cut down on mammogram callbacks. If an image is unclear, a new image can be taken right away during the same appointment instead of having to call the patient to come back into the office for another mammogram.”
In addition to the installation of the new digital mammography technology, the hospital also recently renovated the mammography suite to provide patients with a comfortable atmosphere.
“Our goal is to help patients feel more comfortable, as well as provide them with outstanding medical care,” said Cindy Whitfield, mammography tech at MCH. “We are very excited to offer our patients this state-of-the-art breast cancer screening technology; it’s a huge advantage for our patients to have access to this level of care locally.”