Advantages of Digital Mammography
Long before a lump may be felt, a mammogram can be the first line of defense against breast cancer.
In early August, Jackson County Regional Health Center will introduce digital mammography to women in Maquoketa and the Jackson County region and bring them the latest screening tool for the early detection of a disease that strikes 1 in 8 women.
"We are pleased to be able to offer this updated service to women served by Jackson County Regional Health Center,'' said Curt Coleman, Administrator of Jackson County Regional Health Center. "Digital mammography gives radiologists the opportunity to spot cancers at an earlier stage for some women. We expect this technology to make a life-saving difference."
Found at its earliest, most treatable stages, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is better than 90 percent.
Digital mammography emits a lower level of radiation than traditional film mammography and will mean quicker exams and less need for second exams or retakes.
However, it's the image quality produced by the digital machine and the ability to manipulate images for better viewing that gives digital mammography the proven advantage, particularly in women who are younger than 50, who have dense breasts, or who are pre-menopausal.
Much like a digital photo, the benefit of digital mammography is that radiologists can adjust the image to make it as clear as possible. They can view and manipulate the images on high-resolution computer monitors that enhance visualization of the breast tissue. They can magnify the images; increase or decrease the contrast; and, zoom in on specific areas to help detect small calcifications, masses and other changes that may be signs of early cancer.
Film mammography can't be altered once the image is obtained.
Another advantage of digital mammography is that mammogram images are available for evaluation almost immediately on a computer screen. The images can also be easily shared and transmitted between physician offices.
Advancing women's services
The arrival of digital mammography is the second recent advancement in women's health services at the hospital. In August, Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialists, P.C. "The Group" will begin providing prenatal care and gynecological services to women in Maquoketa and the Jackson County region.
The seven physicians of "The Group" will have office hours each Tuesday at Jackson County Regional Health Center. Those physicians with rotating hours at the Maquoketa office are: Harold Mihm, M.D., Rita Aronson, M.D., Kenneth Naylor, M.D., Carolyn Martin, M.D., Briana Barclay, M.D., Anita Pinc, D.O., and Jessica Sandmeier, D.O. "The Group'' has four nurse/midwives, a physician assistant and three nurse practitioners. All babies delivered by "The Group" are delivered at Genesis Medical Center, East Rusholme Street, Davenport.
In the past year since the hospital has had a management agreement with Genesis Health System, it also began providing sleep studies to Jackson County area patients.