Clara Maass Medical Center offers patients the latest aid in early breast
cancer detection—digital mammography, thanks to a grant by the Healthcare
Foundation of New Jersey. A digital mammogram uses a special detector
to capture and convert x-ray energy into a digital image, rather than
capturing it on film.
The earlier the detection of breast cancer, the sooner a patient’s
individualized treatment begins. With the growing number of breast cancer
diagnoses each year, the advantages of digital imaging are more important
today than ever before. Digital mammography—a high-resolution electronic
imaging process—is now the preferred method of viewing and evaluating
mammograms. In addition, results are available sooner since images are
Another advantage is the capability to increase contrast when imaging dense
breast tissue. Digital mammography allows for the possibility of detecting
cancer even earlier, by accurately showing the cancerous tissue so that
making it easier to detect and treat more quickly.
Other benefits of the digital mammogram include:
- The technologist can evaluate the quality of the images as they're
taken. That means patients spend less time in the exam room and rarely
need to return for repeat images.
- The digital machine is fast; patients spend less time in uncomfortable
- Brightness, darkness, or contrast can be adjusted and sections of an image
can be magnified after the mammogram is complete, making it easier to
see subtle differences between tissues. The ability to increase contrast
when imaging dense tissue is particularly important, as dense breast tissue
and malignant cells both appear to be white on a film mammogram.
- Digital images are easily stored and retrieved.
Setting CMMC apart from other facilities in early detection is the Upright
Stereotactic Biopsy, which provides a more comfortable biopsy experience
for the patient, given suspicious tissue findings. The stereotactic approach
to biopsying reduces pain, scars, recovery time and the risk of postsurgical
complications. The upright aspect to stereotactic biopsying minimizes
cost and space as well as provides a faster biopsy, with less bleeding,
as some doctors suggest. The upright approach also provides more comfort
to the arms and neck in addition to positioning the breast in the same
manner as when the area of concern was detected.
To learn more about breast health and digital mammography, please call