Digital Mammography Detects Breast Cancer

Making a trip to the doctor isn't done for fun, especially when getting a mammogram. But it's very important for women. And a new technology can detect cancer faster than ever before. Digital mammography is one of the best ways to detect disease.  Just as digital cameras offer many advantages over film cameras, digital mammography gives patients faster, safer and more comfortable exams.

(Kareen Hopfauf, St. Alexius Mammogram Technician):  "Instead of film and a cassette, this is what we have. The image is taken by placing the breast on the plate here, and then compressing it in the compression. We take four views. We take a craniocaudal view on the right and the left, and the we also take a medial-lateral view on the right and the left as well.”

(Charter):  And when the image is ready to be looked at by technicians, the pictures are clearer than ever before, which takes some of the guessing out of detecting a cancer.

(Hopfauf):  "This is digital. You can see the calcifications a little bit better and you can see the area that they're interested in. It's more well-defined.”

(Charter):  And the days of waiting a long time for test results are long gone...

(Hopfauf):  "The images do go to the radiologist. He can view them and do the report and send the report to the patient's physician quickly, and if it is questionable mammogram, it can be looked at the same day and the report sent to the doctor the same day. If they need to come back for further testing, they can do that.

(Charter):  Now, one unique feature about this mammo-machine is that it can go up, or it can go down. So, no matter your height, getting a mammogram is no obstacle.  It's a crucial exam that can help save your life, so stay proactive and get a mammogram.

Mark Charter, Reporter