Mahaska Health Partnership continues to bring innovative technology to our community. The latest addition is a replacement of their digital mammography system that can image patients with a third lower radiation dose than standard digital mammograms.
“Radiation exposure is a concern for many patients,” MHP Director of Radiology Julie Hartke said. “Everyone is exposed to different sources of natural radiation in daily life, including being in the sun and flying in an airplane.
“Patients need to weigh the benefits versus the risks,” Hartke stressed. “Having an annual mammogram can save your life, so it’s worth it. Our patients can take comfort in knowing they can get this potentially life-saving exam, which provides detailed images for diagnosis, at a fraction of the radiation exposure as standard digital mammograms.”
MHP’s new Siemens Mammomat Inspiration Digital Mammography System provides enhanced image quality, increased comfort for patients and computer assisted diagnosis (CAD). Hartke explained that the new system features automated compression that adjusts for each patient and can capture images faster so compression time is reduced.
“We are very excited about the CAD software because it will call out abnormalities in the images for our Radiologist to pay close attention to. With the ability to digitally layer mammography images from previous years in comparison with today’s images; it will aid our radiologist in noticing those subtle changes that can lead to early diagnosis when a cancer is still small and contained in one area,” Hartke emphasized.
“That is why it is a good idea to obtain tests such as mammograms at the same place year after year,” Hartke said. “All images captured at MHP are digital and stored within each patients chart for our medical staff to access at a moment’s notice. If we didn’t image you; they don’t have that valuable diagnostic tool.”
According to the American Cancer Society, the rate of breast cancer deaths is going down. They strongly attribute that to regular mammography screening and still recommend it as the best tool for diagnosis. “We suggest patients receive a screening mammogram annually, beginning at age 40, unless risk factors exist that warrant an exam sooner,” Hartke said.
“We strongly believe in the recommendations of the American Cancer Society because they have thoroughly researched all options for diagnostic testing. If there comes a time they recommend additional imaging capabilities in addition to mammography, our new system can be upgraded to addition capabilities.”
With such high-tech equipment close to home, area residents have no need to travel for efficient, detailed imaging exams. Ask your physician about imaging with MHP’s new digital mammography system.