Advanced Digital Mammography System Comes to Vacaville

VACAVILLE, Calif., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Sutter Regional Medical Foundation (SRMF) announces that its Vacaville care center has upgraded to digital mammography, offering another advanced tool in screening for breast cancer.

Digital mammography, a computerized X-ray of the breast, is one of the most effective weapons in the fight against breast cancer. The new system is revolutionary in that image quality is superior, with at least a 30- to 40- percent glandular reduction in radiation dose. Another advantage of a digital mammogram is its filmless environment. Unlike analog mammograms (film-producing scans), digital images are produced almost immediately and give radiologists the ability to magnify and adjust images.

"With its high resolution image, efficient storage capability and back-to- back image reporting, digital mammography has a clear advantage over the conventional film-based system," says Keith Tao, M.D., medical director of radiology of SRMF Diagnostic Imaging Centers. "Much like the transition from yesterday's film cameras to today's digital cameras, digital mammography offers the latest technology and cutting-edge advantages to both radiologists and patients."

All women should have their first mammogram by age 40 and then every one to two years. This can reduce the risk of dying of breast cancer by 20 to 25 percent for women aged 40 years or older.

The landmark Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that digital mammography is more accurate and cost-effective as a cancer screening tool in women with dense breasts and women in the peri- and pre-menopausal age groups. This amounts to 60 percent of women under 50 years of age and 40 percent of women older than 50.

"Digital has higher image quality and allows us to detect cancer much earlier than we could on film," says Barbara Chodacznik, B.S., ARRT, (N) (R), CNMT, manager of SRMF Diagnostic Imaging Centers. "Digital mammography is becoming the gold standard of imaging."

New digital units also have a larger field of view, which is particularly important for larger-breasted patients who may currently necessitate extra images to be taken. In addition, SRMF will also be able to decrease patient wait times, increase room turnover, and reduce costs associated with longer procedure times and additional film production.

SRMF offers digital mammography through their Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo care centers. Patients may request a mammogram appointment by visiting SRMF.org or by calling 707-427-4900.

About Sutter Regional Medical Foundation

Sutter Regional Medical Foundation is a locally governed and managed affiliate of Sutter Health, a not-for-profit network of physicians and hospitals in Northern California. SRMF is affiliated with Solano Regional Medical Group, Solano County's largest multi-specialty physician practice that has served the community for more than 50 years. SRMF offers professional, high-quality and compassionate care from care centers in Vacaville, Vallejo, Fairfield, and Rio Vista, all in California, and is fully accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality.

Sutter Health is one of the nation's leading not-for-profit networks of community-based health care providers, delivering high quality care to more than 100 Northern California communities. Sutter Health has relationships with more than 3,600 physicians and is the regional leader in infant deliveries, neonatology, orthopedics and pediatric services. Sutter Health maintains medical foundation clinics in 11 Northern California counties.

(1) Pisano, et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 2005:353; Innovations

Center interviews and analysis.

SOURCE Sutter Regional Medical Foundation

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