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Apr 11

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Breast care: LRMC unviels new mammogram technology

Longview Regional Medical

Center (LRMC) is taking another step in its ongoing crusade versus breast cancer. A technology called digital mammography is now being provided to give patients greater accuracy, quicker results and a more comfortable procedure.

The hospital’s breast health center’s staff employs digital mammography machines with MammoPad breast cushions and soft cushioned padding- all to ensure patients receive the utmost in comfort while undergoing potentially life-saving processes.

LRMC has also introduced a technology called breast tomosynthesis, which uses the most state-of-the-art technique for detecting breast cancer. Superior even to digital mammography, this new procedure is available in only a few facilities nationwide.

New technology for breast health

Dr. Christine Merritt of the Diagnostic Clinic of Longview is excited for women and this is why: She has great expectations for her facility’s new tomosynthesis machine, which utilizes less radiation and takes very little time to take multiple images of the breast.

First Diagnostic Clinic in East Texas to offer this revolutionary device

merritSometimes the human breast is dense hence difficult to get the images needed in one sitting… until now. Previously it was not unusual for women to suffer from late term mammographically “missed” carcinomas. Tomosynthesis technology will solve this serious problem by enabling physicians to find even the smallest of tumors. This technology makes it possible to detect cancer at its earliest possible stage.

The FDA has issued its approval for the procedure, which is simple enough for practitioners to master with only a few hours instruction.

By utilizing high-powered computing to convert digital breast images into very thin “slices” breast tomosynthesis gives doctors a 3D view from inside the breast, eliminating the old problem of dense tissue overlapping. The procedure is very similar to traditional mammograms as the breast is gently compressed under a paddle and images are made from assorted angles in just seconds. A computer then produces 3D images of breast tissue in one-millimeter layers that provide radiologists a degree of detail never before possible. The procedure is already available to patients due for their annual mammograms.

“Upgrading your equipment is expensive, but when we presented it to Longview Regional Medical Center CEO Jim Kendrick he said, “If this is what women need, then we will get it,’” said Merritt. “I am very, very proud that we have it here.”

Another process used in breast cancer screening is ultrasound, which uses sound to form images of internal organs and tumors. A computer converts the sound waves into visible images.

East Texans interested in availing themselves of this expanding life-saving technology should call 903-232-8596 or 903-757-6042.

By Joycelyne Fadojutimi

joycelyne@easttexasreview.com

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