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Franciscan Health’s New Mammogram Machine Detects Cancer Earlier

“It was important to bring this technology to Rensselaer, because we feel like it’s important that the patients in this community don’t need to travel to get the technology they deserve."

Posted: Aug 27, 2019 9:51 AM
Updated: Aug 27, 2019 9:52 AM

RENSSELAER, Ind. (WLFI)- Franciscan Health in Rensselaer has a new gadget that’s detecting cancer earlier than ever before. The new machine offers wide-angle 3D mammogram technology. It’s the only next-generation wide-angle 3D mammogram machine in the state.

“It was important to bring this technology to Rensselaer, because we feel like it’s important that the patients in this community don’t need to travel to get the technology they deserve,” said Cindy Reed, Manager of Diagnostic Imaging at Franciscan Health Rensselaer.

Wide-angle 3D technology allows doctors to see a lot more of the breast during the mammogram.

Franciscan Health officials told News 18 that competitor machines are able to perform a 15-degree sweep of the breast during mammograms. The new wide-angle 3D machine can perform a 50-degree sweep. Officials said this allows doctors to pick things up sooner, and malignant tumors can be diagnosed much earlier.

Reed described the advanced way this new machine picks up images compared to traditional mammogram machines.

“If you had a blueberry muffin and you were looking for a blueberry [is] how our competitors use [traditional machines],’ she said. “And if we are looking for a blueberry with our equipment it’s like looking at a pancake.”

There’s another element that makes this machine different than traditional mammogram machines. This machine is designed for patient comfort. The wide-angle 3D machine has softer paddles and a softer acrylic, and also has an automatic compression. The automatic compression allows the machine to recognize how much compression is needed for each individual person.

Reed said when it comes to mammograms, the biggest fear in women is pain. She explained how this machine is designed to help alleviate that.

“Because the compression is not needed as much,” she said. “Compression will always be the gold standard, it’s just not going to be as tight or as uncomfortable.”

Nine out of ten patients said it is more comfortable than traditional mammogram machines, according to Franciscan Health Officials.

“This type of technology is very important to this community and it’s very expensive. So we were very fortunate that the Franciscan Health Foundation was able to fund a portion of this equipment,” Reed said.

Franciscan started using the wide-angle 3D mammogram machine on patients last month. The procedure takes 30 minutes or less.

The American College of Radiology suggests women get a baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40.
Women are then advised to receive mammograms annually from age 40 and beyond.

To schedule your mammogram appointment at Franciscan Health Rensselaer call 219-866-2026 

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