A grant from the Leona and Harry Helmsley Charitable Trust is helping Sioux City's hospitals provide the best breast care to all women. Thanks to the money, Mercy Medical Center just started using its new digital mammography machine.
It looks a lot like the old mammogram machine, but one test and you'll notice the difference. "A lot more comfortable for patients, and it's less radiation," said Dr. Minh Luu. More comfortable thanks to a flexible pad... and less radiation, but more accuracy. Dr. Minh Luu says the pictures are clearer, and allow radiologists to see with more certainty anomalies in a woman's breast. In fact, they've found four confirmed cases since Mercy started using the new machine in February. "It does cut back on the error rate for us, as far as not being able to see something, or seeing something not as clear," said Dr. Luu. And that's good news for patients, especially since one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
"I think you will see that will be the change in the industry is everyone moving towards digital," said Barb Black. Now, Dr. Luu says originally a patient may be called back to the office for another check if something is found on the digital mammogram. He says that's not unusual since the pictures are so clear doctors will see even the smallest of anomalies. But he says in the end it will be worth it because of the quality of care women will get with the new digital mammography technology.
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