QUEENSTOWN — A mammogram is not known for being a relaxing, comfortable or pleasant experience, but it is a necessary annual preventive measure to ensure well-being for all women.
University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is taking steps to ensure the experience is as comfortable as possible by offering patients a new option in mammograms: the GE Senographe Pristina with Dueta.
According to a news release, the machine is available at the Diagnostics and Imaging Center at UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Queenstown, 125 Shoreway Drive.
A mammogram screening is appropriate for all at-risk women and any woman over age 40. Using an X-ray to take pictures of the breast, the screening is used to detect the presence of breast cancer in women, even those who have no sign or symptom of the disease.
Getting a routine breast exam and mammogram can help detect cancer early, improving the chance it can be treated successfully.
Designed by women and for women, the Senographe Pristina with Dueta, a patient-assisted compression device, offers simplified, more comfortable positioning and compression and improved image quality, the release states.
Proper positioning and better image quality can reduce the need for repeat scans.
The patient-assisted compression device puts the patient in control of breast compression, reducing pain and anxiety surrounding mammogram screenings, the release states.
“We know the amount of breast compression applied during the mammogram directly influences image quality and radiation dose to the patient,” said Holly Daly, mammography technologist at UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Queenstown. “With the Pristina Dueta remote control device and the assistance of the technologist, patients can now be in control of the finishing compression adjustments, which in turn leads to more comfortable mammograms, clearer mammogram images, less radiation dose to breast tissue, and a reduction of repeat exposures and call-backs.”
Daly said studies with the Pristina Dueta have shown that patients are able to tolerate more breast compression than with previous mammograms and patient satisfaction is improved.
Additionally, with the Senographe Pristina, UM Shore Regional Health can now bring 3D technology to patients. This technology, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, delivers superior diagnostic accuracy at the same low dose as a 2D mammography exam, the lowest patient dose of all FDA-approved 3D mammography systems, according to the release.
The technology uses a low-dose short X-ray “sweep” around the positioned breast with nine exposures acquired with a “step-and-shoot” method. This helps remove any movement of the X-ray tube, reducing blur and increasing image sharpness.
“The exam will be more comfortable and accurate, and the patient can be confident the images will remain high quality, even with their assistance with compression,” Daly said. “I am excited we can now offer this technology to our patients and give them the opportunity to participate in their care.”
For more information about scheduling a mammogram at the Diagnostics and Imaging Center at UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Queenstown, patients should contact their primary care physician or call the UM Shore Regional Health Central Scheduling line, 410-822-1000 ext. 2600.
Directions and scheduling information is also available by visiting umshoreregional.org.