Hospital expands breast health services with digital equipmentRiver Falls Area Hospital has expanded its health and wellness services for women with the installation of digital mammography.
River Falls Area Hospital has expanded its health and wellness services for women with the installation of digital mammography.
RFAH is part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics, which invested $400,000 to bring the equipment to patients into western Wisconsin. Donations from community members are helping fund the digital mammography equipment and other start-up expenses for the program.
“We’re excited to have this new technology,” said Randy Farrow, RFAH president. “It’s important we provide our community with comprehensive health care services, from preventive health care screenings to specialty care at every stage of life.”
Digital mammography represents the most advanced technology for breast cancer detection. A digital mammogram is like traditional film screen mammography.
Both use x-rays to generate images of the breast. However, instead of using film to capture and record the image, a digital mammogram uses a special detector to capture and convert x-ray energy into a digital image.
The resulting digital images are immediately available to the radiologist for diagnosis.
Digital mammography feels identical to conventional screening from a patient’s perspective, though women may notice shorter exam times and a reduction in call-backs to obtain additional images.
“Digital mammography allows us to provide our patients with the highest quality of care in the prevention and early detection of breast cancer close to home,” said Chris Tashjian, MD, director of medical affairs at RFAH.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. Statistics show that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her life.
The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman’s survival. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 97%.
“Digital mammography provides a win-win situation for patients and radiologists,” said Jim Sullivan, MD, radiologist with St. Paul Radiology, Ltd., which provides radiology physician services to RFAH. “Digital mammography allows us to view the x-ray more closely, zeroing in on suspicious or concerning areas while the patient is still in the exam room.”
In conjunction with the digital mammography unit, River Falls area Hospital is also offering computer-aided detection (CAD).
CAD provides a “second read” of the mammogram by a computer, assisting the radiologist in making an accurate diagnosis, like spell check in word processing.
More information about RFAH and other Allina Hospitals & Clinics facilities, services and jobs can be found online at www.allina.com.