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Originally published: 2014-03-17 12:40:24
Last modified: 2014-03-17 13:18:26

Digital mammography now available at Cannon Memorial

Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital will be the first in Avery County to offer breast cancer screenings using full field digital mammography. 

With the recent installation of the Selenia Dimensions 2D full field digital mammography system, all mammography patients at CMH will be imaged with the most state-of-the-art equipment available. 

"Now that we have full field digital mammography, the women of Avery County can receive the breast care they deserve close to home," said Martha Daniels, lead mammographer at CMH. "We are very excited to be a part of offering the latest technology  to women in the High Country."

Digital mammography is different from conventional or film-screen mammography in how the image of the breast is acquired and viewed. The radiologist can magnify the images, increase or decrease the contrast and invert the black-and-white values while reading the images. 

The features allow the radiologist to better evaluate micro-calcifications and better evaluate any areas of concern.

For most women 40 and older, an annual mammogram is the best way of finding breast cancer early, according to hospital officials. 

Mammograms play a central role in the early detection of breast cancer because they can detect changes in the breast that may be early signs of cancer, but are too small or subtle to be felt.

The use of mammography and, in particular, digital mammography, has greatly enhanced the ability to detect breast cancer at an earlier stage, when it's most treatable, officials said. 

Digital mammography detected significantly more cancers than screen-film mammography in woman 50 and younger, premenopausal and perimenopausal women, and women with dense breasts, according to results from the American College of Radiology Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial.

Breast cancer statistics include the following:

One in eight women living in the U.S. will get breast cancer in a lifetime,  according to the American Cancer Society.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. It's the leading cause of death in 35- to 65-year-old women, according to the World Health Organization. 

The installation of full field digital mammography at CMH, part of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, allows radiologists to view breast images taken at Cannon Memorial Hospital or Watauga Medical Center at either facility. 

ARHS is committed to the fight against breast cancer, providing high quality, acute health care and preventative medical care in a compassionate and professional manner to all people who live, work or visit the High Country, according to system officials. 

For more information, visit http://www. apprhs.org.