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Mission Accomplished!

New digital mammography system available at GMC

L-R Claudia Ausemus (Foundation Treasurer); Janis Carter (Radiology Director); Lucas Stansbury (Foundation President); Michelle Goff (Foundation Vice-President)

      Girard Medical Center has become one of the first women’s centers in the United States to offer breast cancer screening with a state-of-the-art Selenia Dimensions 2D full field digital mammography system. The GMC Foundation raised the entire $358,000 amount of the Mammo, of which $250,000 was raised through their recent “Campaign for Life.” campaign.  The funds came from the generous donations of the community and the employees who donate part of their salary through payroll deduction.

          The system offers incredibly sharp breast images, an advanced ergonomic design providing more patient comfort and a flexible platform that is designed to support advanced mammography applications. Additionally, if the FDA approves breast tomosynthesis, a method of performing high-quality, high-resolution 3D images through x-rays, the machine can be configured to accommodate it.

          “With digital mammography, the radiologist reviews electronic images of the breast, using special high-resolution monitors,” Janis Carter, director of radiology for GMC, said. “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.”

          In addition to this, she said, digital mammography can reduce the need for retakes due to over or under exposure. This potentially saves time and reduces a patient’s exposure to x-rays.

          The digital images can also be transmitted quickly across a network, easily stored, copied without any loss of information and transmitted and received in a more streamlined manner. This eliminates the dependence on only one set of original films.

          For most women 40 and over, an annual mammogram is the best way of finding breast cancer early. If detected early enough, the five-year survival rate is 98%. Mammograms play a central part in the early detection of breast cancer because they can detect changes in the breast that may be early signs of cancer, but are too small or subtle to be felt.

There are more than 8,000 breast cancer screening sites in the U.S. Nearly 5,000 have at least one digital mammography system, but less than 100 have installed this newest generation of digital mammography equipment.

          Regarding what the new equipment means for GMC, Carter said, “There is no need for patients to travel outside of the Girard area for the best mammography technology. We have it right here at Girard Medical Center. Our machine is upgradable to Mammography Tomosynthesis or 3D by a software upgrade only. Meaning that when we are ready to move forward to 3D it will be a seamless transition.”