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updated: 8/22/2011 7:16 AM

GlenOaks installs the latest in breast cancer detection equipment

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Sheila Galloro
Adventist Midwest Health

The latest technology in breast cancer detection is now available at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital in Glendale Heights.

The hospital recently installed a new Selenia Dimensions two-dimensional, full-field digital mammography system, the newest available diagnostic technology for increasing the early detection of breast cancer. The hospital also remodeled the mammography suite to be more patient-centric.

The GlenOaks Hospital Foundation raised $175,000, which paid for about half the cost of the digital mammography system. More than 300 donors contributed to the project.

"As a region, we are pleased to have digital mammography at all four Adventist Midwest hospitals," said Dr. Patricia Lee, a diagnostic radiologist who treats patients at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital. "It will allow for shorter exam times, decreased radiation, reduction in repeat examinations and improved detection of cancer in certain patients. The ability to share images throughout the region will be a benefit to the hospital."

Digital imaging has the potential to detect breast cancer at an earlier stage than traditional X-ray mammograms, and early detection is a key factor in breast cancer survival. Like conventional mammography, the digital system uses X-rays to capture top-to-bottom and side-to-side images of each breast, but new technology allows the system to use a lower dose of radiation.

The system at GlenOaks also can be configured for three-dimensional digital breast imaging, known as digital tomosynthesis, once Centers for Medicare and Medicaid completes work on the procedure codes and the hospital undergoes a software upgrade.

"Just as digital cameras, cellphones and computers have changed the way people take and share photographs, so have similar technological improvements changed medicine," said Bruce C. Christian, chief executive officer of Adventist GlenOaks Hospital.

"Finally being able to offer digital mammography builds on our tradition of providing outstanding health care to patients right in the community."

With digital mammography, technologists can see the image of the breast tissue in front of them in just seconds and can digitally alter the amount of contrast or make it lighter or darker to aid viewing.

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2011 about 230,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women and about 39,500 women will die from breast cancer.