By Dr. Martin A. Urban
Nearly 40 percent of women age 40 and older do not adhere to the American Cancer Society’s recommended guidelines of a yearly mammogram. This is a devastating and unfortunate statistic.
The mammogram is one of the most essential exams a woman can have to help ensure her personal health; mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage.
Women share many reasons for noncompliance, ranging from perceived discomfort during the exam, a lack of cancer history in one’s family to the fear of facing one’s own mortality. These reasons are too often deterring women from critical diagnosis and the peace of mind that comes with understanding of their personal health.
Women need to be encouraged to undergo annual breast cancer screenings, and centers must make every effort to ensure the process is comfortable and accurate. At FHN Memorial Hospital, we perform 10,000 to 12,000 mammograms annually. Our staff works diligently to ensure each of our patients is at ease during the examination, diagnosis and treatment, when necessary. Our hope is that by providing the highest quality care, we can minimize the worries associated with breast cancer screening for Freeport-area women.
Several years ago, it became evident that the future of mammography and radiology, like many other health care services, was moving toward digital solutions. At FHN, we take pride in providing our patients with high-quality patient care; we needed to upgrade our resources to continue to serve area women with advanced, innovative mammography solutions. We turned to GE Healthcare to outfit our Women’s Imaging Center with flexible imaging technology that can be used for both screening mammography breast biopsies. Two systems from GE Healthcare met our needs — the Senographe DS and Senographe Essential.
The Senographe DS enables our clinicians to perform a biopsy on an area of suspicion during the mammogram procedure without moving the patient to another piece of equipment. This is ideal for physicians and patients. It streamlines the examination process, and physicians can biopsy with greater ease while helping to ensure patients experience less discomfort, which is of the utmost importance within our practice.
With the Senographe Essential, which provides a large field of view, we have the ability to image a range of patients and realize the combined benefits of digital image quality and patient comfort. Patients can be assured they’re receiving technology that helps to provide clear and accurate breast images to further a confident diagnosis.
At FHN Memorial Hospital, we truly care about our patients and want to provide the best possible experience each time a woman comes in for her mammogram. We believe offering patients exceptional technology, and quality and comfortable patient care will encourage women to make an annual mammogram appointment and help spread the word to family and friends that this is an important first step toward early detection. Early detection can save lives, and that starts with screening.
Women interested in learning more about the GE mammography technology used at FHN Memorial Hospital are invited to visit www.gehealthcare.com/euen/mammography. To schedule an appointment at FHN, please call 1-877-6000-FHN.
Dr. Martin A. Urban is an interventional radiologist practicing at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport, Ill., and can be reached at (877) 6000-FHN.
From the Feb. 22-28, 2012, issue