WBRMC's New Digital Mammography Unit
|Pictured left to right are WBRMC mammography techs
Stacy Johnson, Joni Stillwagon and Sarah Winter.
One of the ironies of breast cancer is that it is as democratic a disease as it is life-threatening. It strikes women without regard to ethnicity, education, social status or reputation. It is unsympathetic to any other challenges a woman might be facing in life. It is insensitive, indifferent and unforgiving.
Breast cancer deserves tough enemies. And we at West Branch Regional Medical Center have stepped into that role with the introduction of our new digital mammography unit.
Mammograms play a central role in the early detection of breast cancer because they can detect changes in the breast that are too small or subtle to be felt, but may be early signs of cancer. WBRMC's new digital mammography unit offers a number of practical advantages and patient conveniences. Because there is no waiting for film to be developed it significantly reduces the need for repeat exams due to under or over exposure. Digital images are easily stored and transferred electronically, eliminating the dependency on one set of original films, which can be misfiled or lost in transit. Exam times are shorter and each exam provides a lower dose of radiation.
Digital mammography is different from conventional mammography in the way the image of the breast is viewed. The radiologist can magnify the images, increase or decrease the contrast and invert the black and white values while reading the images. These features make it easier for the radiologist to evaluate microcalcifications and focus on areas of concern. Digital mammography is revolutionizing the practice of mammography through its ability to yield high quality images at low radiation dose.
If you would like more information about WBRMC's new digital mammography service, please contact Imaging Director Tom Oesch at (989) 343-3195. To schedule an appointment for a digital mammogram please call (989) 343-3200.
FACTS AND STATISTICS:
- Breast cancer, when detected early, can be cured
- 5-year survival rate for localized breast cancer is 98%
- 10-year survival rate is 81% for cancers detected when less than 1 cm in size
- The American Cancer Society spends nearly $100 million a year on research for a breast cancer cure
- Over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today
- A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime is 1 in 8
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, aside from skin cancer
- Only lung cancer causes more cancer deaths in women
- Each year about 200,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed (1 every 2.5 minutes)
- Over 40,000 women die from breast cancer each year (1 every 13 minutes)
- About 2,000 male breast cancer cases are diagnosed each year, and almost 440 men will die from the disease Mammography Facts*
- Mammography screening is the best way to detect breast cancer in its earlier stages, and it saves lives
- Screening mammography reduces breast cancer mortality 25-30% for women ages 50-70 and 18% for women ages 40-50
- Early detection gives women new options for breast-conserving therapy
- 4 of every 10 women don't get annual mammograms
- 50% of women report moderate to extreme discomfort** when having a mammogram
- 75% of women who don't return for future screenings give pain as the reason***
- 88% of the pre-invasive breast cancer diagnosed is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
- 5-10% of women undergoing screening mammography will be advised to undergo additional testing based on an abnormal or inconclusive mammogram