Early Detection is Key to Fighting Breast Cancer
SACMC's Mammography and Breast Cancer Awareness Program works to enhance breast cancer awareness and increases the public's knowledge of the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Mammography is an effective tool in the early detection of this disease. During the exam the woman is given a risk factor screening questionnaire. The screening tool asks if the woman does self-breast exams. The importance of this exam is explained and patient education provided.
SACMC's mammography program is accredited by the Mammogram Quality Standard Accreditation and the American College of Radiology. It scores 100% annually on inspections that cover film quality, technical ability, and continuing education.
In addition, Community performs stereotactic needle biopsies, an alternative to the traditional breast biopsy for diagnosing breast cancer. SACMC's equipment allows the biopsy to be performed without making an incision, saving women time, pain, and money. We also offer the soft touch MammoPad™ breast cushion to enhance comfort during mammograms.
What is Digital Mammography?
Digital mammography uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor, and transmitted and stored just like computer files. From a patient’s point of view, having a digital mammogram is very much like having a conventional screen-film mammogram. Both film-based and digital mammography use compression and x-rays to create clear images of the inside of the breast.
During all mammography exams, the technologist positions the patient to image the breast from different angles and compresses the breast with a paddle to obtain optimal image quality.
Unlike film-based mammography, digital mammograms produce images that appear on the technologist’s monitor in a matter of seconds. There is no waiting for film to develop, which can mean a shorter time spent in the breast imaging suite.
The Benefits of Digital Mammography
Unlike other parts of the body, the breast is composed mainly of soft tissue. When breast tissue is x-rayed, it creates an image that looks something like a smoky haze, making it difficult to see tiny “spots,” called microcalcifications, and other subtle signs of early cancer.
With digital mammography, the radiologist reviews electronic images of the breast, using special high-resolution monitors. The physician can adjust the brightness, change contrast, and zoom in for close ups of specific areas of interest. Being able to manipulate images is one of the main benefits of digital technology.
Another convenience of digital mammography over film-based systems is it can greatly reduce the need for retakes due to over or under exposure. This potentially saves additional time and reduces your exposure to x-rays. Because they are electronic, digital mammography images can be transmitted quickly across a network. Digital images can also be easily stored, copied without any loss of information, and transmitted and received in a more streamlined manner, eliminating dependence on only one set of “original” films.
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