April 6, 2012

Lewis Health Center adds digital mammography technology

HOHENWALD, Tenn. — While Lewis Health Center (LHC) has offered mammography for years, the facility recently enhanced this service with the addition of digital technology, according to Imaging Manager Amber Bastin.

“Digital mammography offers a higher level of clarity and detail than traditional film mammography. In a clinical trial, it was determined that digital mammography detected significantly more cancers than film mammography in women age 50 and younger, premenopausal women, perimenopausal women, and women with dense breasts,” said Bastin.

From the patient’s point of view, a digital mammogram is like traditional film screen mammography. Both use X-ray to generate images of the breast. However, instead of using film to capture and record the image, a digital mammogram uses a special detector to capture and convert X-ray energy into a digital image. The resulting digital images are immediately available to the radiologist for diagnosis.

The radiologist can view and manipulate the images on high-resolution computer monitors that enhance visualization of the structures within the breast tissue. They can also adjust brightness and contrast, and zoom in on specific areas to help detect small calcifications, masses and other changes that may be signs of early cancer. Mammography images are reviewed by the same board-certified radiologists who review results at Maury Regional Medical Center.

The American Cancer Society recommends that all women age 40 and older have a mammogram annually. Those with a strong family history of breast cancer may be advised by their physician to begin screening mammograms at a younger age. A physician’s order is required and mammograms may be scheduled by calling 931.796.6222.

Digital mammography is the latest advancement in the Imaging Department, which includes bone densitometry, ultrasound, X-ray and American College of Radiology (ACR) accredited magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services.