The Breast Center at MDI Hospital hosted an open house on Monday, October 27th to give the public a close look at its new digital mammography unit. The Mexican fiesta themed event, sponsored by the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, will take place at the Breast Center’s 2nd floor location at Mount Desert Island Hospital.
“October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said John Benson, M.D, FACR., Medical Director of Medical Imaging at MDI Hospital, “and this event will provide a perfect opportunity for us to showcase our newest weapon in the war on breast cancer, the Selenia™ direct digital, full-field mammography unit.”
“This device is the latest generation in digital mammography, and we’re pleased to make this life-saving technology available to women of this community, ” said Dr. Benson.
Dr. Benson explained that digital mammography not only offers the benefit of speed by eliminating the need to process film, it also provides improved image quality. “Using a patented microprocessor, the unit is also able to generate a higher-quality mammographic image, so we’re able to see smaller details with much greater accuracy,” added Dr. Benson.
Another important patient benefit, Dr. Benson explained, is that the Selenia™ exposes women to less radiation than other mammography units in Maine, digital or otherwise. “By using a newly approved X-ray tube our unit enables a nearly 35 percent reduction in radiation exposure,” Dr. Benson said.
The Breast Center at MDI Hospital is unique in the area due to the introduction of stereotactic breast biopsy. This consists of an optional component to the digital mammography unit that allows Dr. Benson to perform image-guided needle biopsies. This is a minimally invasive procedure to remove of a sample of abnormal cells or tissue from the suspicious area in the breast for examination by a pathologist
This feature provides a convenient option to traditional surgical breast biopsy. According to Dr. Benson, “I believe it is important to offer this minimally invasive option to women in our area. The combination of lowest dose digital mammography with stereotactic biopsy underscores the Breast Center’s mission to provide comprehensive breast care services. “ He adds, “With the addition of this new digital mammography unit, we now offer a safer, more comfortable, reliable way to detect breast cancer at an early, treatable stage,”
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics demonstrate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her life. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 97%. Recent data indicate a dramatic decrease in breast cancer mortality, largely due to widespread access to screening mammography and improved treatment options. Annual screening by mammography beginning at age 40 is now considered a standard of care.
The breast center may be contacted at 288-8435 for additional information or to schedule a mammogram.