The technology to detect breast cancer early just got better at the Louisa Kellam Center for Women’s Health at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, 14502 W. Meeker Blvd., in Sun City West.
State-of-the-art digital mammography, also called full-field digital mammography, is available at the nonprofit hospital, thanks to a contribution from Sun Health Services.
Digital mammography produces images of better clarity and accuracy than traditional screen-film mammography, resulting in the detection of significantly more cancers (up to 28 percent more), particularly in women under age 50, women with dense breast tissue, and pre-or peri-menopausal women. Notably, digital mammography administers lower doses of radiation to patients and it detects cancers in their early stages, when they are most treatable.
“Early detection is key to survival, which is one reason we are particularly excited about this new imaging capability,” said Larry Bonno, medical imaging director at Banner Del E. Webb.
Another key benefit is the fact that digital images can also be stored and accessed electronically versus having to physically transport the films. This allows radiologists easier access to the images and, ultimately, faster results to patients.
Similar to traditional mammography, the breast is positioned on the machine’s special platform and then compressed as the X-ray is taken.
Digital mammography is the first of two new pieces of advanced imaging equipment to arrive at Banner Del E. Webb. Next month, the hospital will become the first hospital in the West Valley to offer Breast Specific Gamma Imaging, which is for women who have questionable mammograms and need further evaluation.
This piece of equipment is being paid for through an ongoing fund-raising drive led by the Sun Health Foundation.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 192,000 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the US this year and 40,170 women are expected to die from the disease. The good news is that, currently, more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors are living in the United States.
Banner Del E. Webb is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 22 hospitals throughout the West. To learn more, visit www.bannerhealth.com/Webb.