Digital Mammography

Advanced Imaging SpecialistsThis technology converts X-rays to electronic images of the breast which can be viewed, optimized and stored on a computer. In a recent study, digital mammography was better than traditional film mammography in detecting breast cancer in women under 50 and with dense breasts.

  • Quicker mammograms, since there's no need to wait for film images to be developed
  • Images can be viewed instantly by the technologist and radiologist
  • Images can be easily transferred electronically with no loss of image quality
  • Computer-assisted optimization helps radiologists detect micro-calcifications that might be missed on traditional film mammograms

What are the potential benefits of digital mammograms?

  • Enhanced interpretation. Mammograms can be extremely challenging for radiologists to interpret. Digital mammograms, though, are stored electronically. That means they can be analyzed by computers as well as by radiologists.
  • Image manipulation capabilities. Film mammogram images cannot be changed. Digital mammogram images can be manipulated digitally for better clarity and visibility. For instance, the contrast of the images can be changed where necessary to provide a clearer picture.
  • Lower average radiation dosage. Digital mammograms may take more views of each breast than film mammograms. But they use approximately 25% less radiation than film mammograms. That’s because smaller areas of the breast are imaged in each view.
  • Easier second opinions. Since digital mammograms are stored in computers, they can easily be sent electronically to other health care professionals for analysis.
  • Easier to store. Film mammograms produce bulky sets of films that must be stored and revisited for comparison in future tests. Digital mammogram results are stored on computers for ease of access and retrieval.

The American Medical Association and the American College of Radiology recommend beginning annual mammograms at the age of 40.

 

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Digital Mammography