Clara Maass Medical Center (CMMC) 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 available immediately.
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 positions.
- 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 973.450.2000.
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