In May of 2003 Buena Vista Regional Medical Center Center for Women announced the installation of a new mammography system that has assisted physicians in detecting and diagnosing breast cancer earlier and more accurately.
This system, the first in a clinical setting in the state of Iowa, is the GE Senographe® 2000D full-field digital mammography (FFDM) system. It is designed and manufactured by GE Medical Systems to provide physicians with clear and precise, all-digital images rather than the conventional X-ray film. The Full-Field Digital Mammography and Computer Aided Detection are technological breakthroughs in breast Imaging, providing a combination of diagnostic capabilities.
"Patients in our area have a powerful tool in the detection and fight against breast cancer," statedTheresa Beem, Director of Women's Health. "This system allows us to offer our patients state-of-the-art mammograms that are faster and easier than before. It also gives our referring physicians more accurate images to use in diagnosis."
The GE Senographe 2000D at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center is equipped with computer aided detection (CAD) software. CAD acts as a radiologist's "second pair of eyes" when reading a mammogram. Similar to a spellchecker system on a personal computer, this technology has the potential to detect findings that might otherwise be overlooked during the review process, thus increasing cancer detection. CAD technology also is especially effective in identifying calcifications, some of which can be cancerous.
"The digital technology has helped us to provide the most advanced care for our patients," says Beem. "A precise diagnosis is the first step toward getting a patient treatment and on the plan to good health."
The Senographe 2000D is a technological breakthrough in Breast Imaging. It provides a combination of capabilities that are changing mammography and breast care tremendously.
Several features of the Senographe 2000D include:
* Optimized image clarity - One-view visualization of the entire breast, despite varying density.
* Reduced callbacks - Images may be "post processed" by radiologist allowing change in density and magnification of structures optimizing visualization of breast tissue from chest wall to skin line.
* Enhanced dose management - lowering dose in dense breast tissue.
* Reduced exam time with immediate image review. Film development is completely eliminated.
* CAD - Computer Aided Detection - is seamlessly interfaced into the digital mammography system - allowing the radiologist to obtain a "second read" at the touch of a button on the workstation.
* CAD is proven to improve accuracy and increase the sensitivity of mammography by digitally identifying -
* Regions that may harbor clusters of microcalcifications
* Areas of architectural distortion.
* Digitally integrated CAD serves as a sensitive detection aid - a second set of eyes to support and enhance the radiologist's judgement.
"Digital mammography has many advantages," said Joan Kurtz, Director of Radiology Services. "The images are clear and easy to read and it offers a better view of the breast. It works for women with all breast tissue types. The image is ready to read within 10 seconds and there is no longer the wait for films to be developed to be sure the images are usable. The digital mammogram takes as little as half the time of a film mammogram."
The Full-Field machine was placed in the The Center for Women on November 3, 2003, just 10 days before the Center for Women opened. The new center was specificially designed with an environment designed specifically for women. This includes private dressing rooms with personal items such as deoderant, kleenex, and terrycloth robes, a home-like waiting room with several couches, a television and coffee, and a broad resource room available to all who are in need of health-related resources.
The Center for Women offers the American College of Radiology Accredited Mammography program. Dr. Maurice Huffman, MD, Board Certified Radiologist, has had many years of experience in mammography and breast imaging. Registered technologists with advanced training and certification in the field of mammography perform the exam.
Mammograms, in conjunction with regular breast self-examination and annual clinical breast exams with your healthcare provider, are the best way for women to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. As October Breast Cancer Awareness Month wraps up, it's a good time to consider testing.
Call your physician or contact the Radiology Department at BVRMC at 732-4030, ext. 2156.