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Digital Mammography

Digital Mammography

According to national statistics, one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in their lives. At Coshocton Hospital, we’re dedicated to giving you access to the technology – Full Field Digital Mammography – that can provide early and accurate diagnosis to help give you the best options for recovery.

Mammograms work by sending X-rays through the breast tissue to obtain images and spot abnormalities. Early mammography recorded these results on film, but today’s digital technologies enable images to be analyzed and stored on a computer. A digital mammography works much like the way a digital camera takes and stores pictures. It uses essentially the same mammography system as a conventional mammogram, but the system is equipped with a digital receptor instead of a film cassette.

mammographyWhy Digital Mammography?

With digital mammography, the magnification, orientation, brightness and contrast of the image may be altered after the exam, allowing the radiologist to focus on certain areas more clearly. It has been found to be the most accurate type of mammogram in women under 50, women with dense breasts, and women who have not yet gone through menopause, or have been in menopause less than a year.

Digital mammograms offer many potential benefits, including:

  • Enhanced interpretation – Traditional film mammograms lack the clarity of digital mammography and can be extremely difficult for radiologists to pinpoint small abnormalities. Because digital mammograms are stored electronically, they can also be analyzed by a computer function that registers abnormalities often too small for the human eye. The radiologist can use this tool to further evaluate an area that may have been overlooked with standard mammography.
  • Image manipulation capabilities – Digital images can be enlarged or the image sharpened for better clarity and visibility. The contrast of images can even be changed where necessary to provide a clearer picture.
  • Lower average radiation dosage – Digital mammograms use approximately 25 percent less radiation than film mammograms.
  • Easier second opinions – because digital mammograms are stored in computers, they can easily be sent to other health care professionals for analysis.
  • Easier to store – Digital mammogram results are stored on computers for ease of access and retrieval, instead of the bulky film sets traditionally stored.
  • Faster image acquisition – with digital mammography it takes less than a minute for the images to appear on the computer screen.
  • Shorter exam time- digital mammography exams take about half the time of film-based exams.

If you’re scheduled for a digital mammogram, please click here for detailed information about the exam and specifics about how to prepare. If you have further questions, our radiology staff would be happy to speak to you. Please call us at (740) 623-4132.