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Benefits of Digital Mammography Trial

Most Advanced Technology Available at St. Mary's

St. Mary's Breast Center
100 St. Mary's Epworth Crossing
Newburgh, IN  
(812) 485-4437

Results of Major Breast Cancer Screening Trial Announced

The American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) has announced that the results of their Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST) show digital mammography detected significantly more cancers than screen film mammography in women age 50 and younger, premenopausal and perimenopausal women and women with dense breasts. The results were reported in a special online publication of New England Journal of Medicine. The ACRIN trial, which included 49,582 women at 33 sites across the United States and Canada, is one of the largest breast cancer screening studies ever performed. Dr. Charles Lackey, Medical Director, St. Mary's Breast Center, comments, "This definitive study shows that, without question, digital mammography detects more cancers than traditional mammography."

St. Mary's Breast Center installed digital mammography in August 2003. Backed by Computer Aided Detection (CAD), digital mammography offers the most advanced technology available in the fight against breast cancer.

Digital mammography works in the same way as traditional mammograms, but instead of capturing images on X-ray film, which has to be developed, images are captured digitally and immediately sent to a computer monitor. This allows technologists to manipulate the image's brightness, contrast and magnification to help detect any cancer that may be present.

"The ability to enhance the images is a key advantage to the system," says Dr. Charles Lackey. "Because breast tumors and healthy breast tissue are similar in density, up to 10 percent of breast cancers cannot be seen on traditional X-ray film."

The CAD program acts as an additional pair of eyes looking at the images assisting in the detection of breast cancer. The CAD scans the images and flags suspicious areas for further review by the radiologists. "The CAD can detect subtle changes that help with earlier intervention," says Dr. Lackey.

Additional benefits offered by this technology include improved visualization and manipulation of images by the radiologist, allowing them to magnify specific areas on the computer screen to aid in detection; increased patient comfort and satisfaction due to decreased need for additional images or retakes usually required by film screen mammography - exposing patients to to 60 percent less radiation.

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