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Dec 6: Memorial Health System Converting to Digital Mammography

For Immediate Release

December 6, 2007

Digital mammography is coming to Memorial Health System, benefiting thousands of women by helping detect breast cancer at an earlier, and therefore, more treatable stage.

Implementing the new technology became a reality after the Memorial Health System Foundation hosted a women’s call to action breakfast.The event raised enough money to bring the first digital mammography machine to our civilian population in Colorado Springs. Following the lead of this dynamic group of donors, Memorial Health System committed to putting forth the additional money to convert all of its mammography equipment to digital.

With digital technology, doctors are able to enhance the images, making them larger, adjusting the contrast or focusing on specific sections. These adjustments can result in earlier detection of cancer and bring less invasive treatment and less radiation exposure to the patient.  

“Ninety percent of the improved survival rates experienced in the last 20 years is because of screening and earlier detection, and our primary detection tool is mammography,” says Chris Bartlett, M.D., director of Memorial’s Breast Care Center. “Digital mammography represents an improvement over the current technology, and because it is digital in nature, it will continue to improve.”

Only eight percent of mammography units in the United States are digital. According to a recent study of about 50,000 women, digital mammograms prove better than film mammograms, the current mammography method, in picking up cancers in certain groups of women, such as those with dense breasts and those younger than 50.

The new machines are expected to be in place at Memorial by February 2008.

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For more information, contact the Public Relations office at Memorial Health System at 719-365-5235.