GREENCASTLE -- Mammography images just got clearer at Putnam County Hospital. The radiology department recently installed the Fujifilm Apsire ClearView 1m system offering digital mammograms for area women.
The Fujifilm system produces high-resolution images that allow for a much more detailed view of the breast tissue. This system heightens conspicuity of breast structures improving the visibility of both dense and soft tissue and provides greater diagnostic confidence.
"The higher resolution yields an earlier detection rate for calcification and cancer," said Dr. Michael Flood, radiologist.
The digital format improves the image quality and allows for a quicker test. Digital mammography has proven most beneficial to women under the age of 50, regardless of breast density, any age with a very dense breast and pre- or peri-menopausal women regardless of age.
The new system decreases the amount of radiation to which a patient is exposed by as much as 22 percent.
"We can see immediately if the image is diagnostic and of good quality, reducing the length of the actual exam," said Cindy Mason, RT (R) M.
Because the images can be viewed instantly, the film development time lapse has been eliminated, helping to keep the entire procedure within a 30-minute window.
The use of digital images allows for infinite storage, since a compact disc is much smaller than the traditional radiology films.
"With images readily available, we are better able to compare from previous screens to help identify tissue changes," Flood said.
"With a yearly mammogram we can find a majority of the breast cancer at an early stage." said Mason.
Today, the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and the Food and Drug Administration, all agree that women should have their first baseline mammogram at age 35 and begin yearly screens at age 40.
"If I could tell women one thing, I would tell them not to neglect their mammogram. It can save your life," Mason said.
Women can contact Putnam County Hospital's central scheduling department to schedule their yearly mammogram by calling 655-2620.
Mammograms can be scheduled Monday through Wednesday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Thursday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.