Digital Mammography

Women who undergo routine mammograms at our medical center have the latest diagnostic technology available to them, digital mammography. We are the first health care provider in the area to feature this state-of-the-art system, Selenia digital mammography from Hologic.

Digital mammography is different from conventional mammography in how the image of the breast is viewed and, more importantly, manipulated. The radiologist can view and manipulate the images on high-resolution computer monitors that enhance visualization of the structures within the breast tissue. They can also adjust brightness and contrast, and zoom in on specific area to help detect small calcifications, masses, and other changes that may be signs of early cancer.

To supplement this technology, we've also incorporated digital Computer-Aided Detection (CAD). Digital CAD highlights characteristics commonly associated with breast cancer. When activated, it flags abnormalities to help the radiologist detect early breast cancer. CAD is, in essence, a second set of eyes to support and enhance the radiologists judgment.

Digital mammography feels identical to conventional screening from a patients perspective, though women may notice shorter exam times and a reduction in call-backs to obtain additional images.

Digital images are easily stored and transferred electronically, eliminating the dependency on one set of original films, which can be misfiled or lost in transit. According to Lori Turauski, Director of Radiology, the introduction of the Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) to digitally archive radiology results, along with the addition of the electronic medical record, paved the way for the addition of the new digital mammography system.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. 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 percent.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for an annual mammogram in Barron or Rice Lake, talk to your doctor or call 715-537-6747.