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Digital Mammography

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. In the fight against breast cancer, early detection is key. Digital mammography is aiding physicians in detecting breast cancer earlier and that technology is now available at Sanford Chamberlain Medical Center.

“We are excited to offer digital mammography,” said Dr. Travis Sanger, Sanford Clinic Chamberlain. “Digital mammography offers a number of practical advantages and patient conveniences.

What is digital mammography?

Mammography remains the best method of early breast cancer detection; however, traditional film-screen mammography is limited in its ability to detect some cancers – especially those occurring in women with dense breasts. Digital mammography offers theoretical advantages compared to film-screen mammography for cancer detection. Conventional film screen mammography uses low energy x-rays that pass through a compressed breast during a mammography examination. The exiting x-rays are absorbed by film (x-ray film) which is then developed into a mammography image that can be held and looked at by the radiologist. With digital mammography, low energy x-rays pass through the breast exactly like conventional mammograms but are recorded by means of an electronic digital detector instead of film. This electronic image can be displayed on a video monitor like a TV or printed onto film. The radiologist can manipulate the digital mammogram electronically to magnify an area, change contrast or alter the brightness.

Some of the advantages of digital mammography include:

  • Near instantaneous image acquisition.
  • Transmission of images electronically.
  • Using advanced computer and electronic technologies to manipulate the image in order to better “see” certain breast tumors that are currently difficult to visualize on film screen mammography systems.

For more information about breast cancer and digital mammography, visit with your medical provider.

To schedule your mammogram with this leading edge technology, call Sanford Chamberlain Medical Center at 605-234-7169.