Most Viewed Stories
Mammography now clearer, quicker
A new mammogram machine at Yuma's hospital will allow for twice as many women to be seen by health care professionals while it provides fast results with new, digital technology.
With construction complete at the Yuma Regional Medical Plaza below Yuma Regional Medical Center, there are two rooms for mammograms at the hospital and six dressing rooms. Mammography is provided by the Outpatient Diagnostic Imaging Center, and health care workers saw their first patients Wednesday.
Mammographer Karen Nady said the addition of the new machine will double the number of patients they're able to see, making it 80.
And now doctors and health care workers will have access to improved technology, she said.
"It captures an image and it puts it on a computer, therefore there's no film," Nady said. "Before, we were doing film and we had to store that film ... and now all the images are kept on a computer."
Having the machine also means a quicker turnaround time for results, she said.
"It's an asset because it saves the patient time for waiting. We have better imaging for tissue that's dense.
"And dense tissue is usually in younger patients. So it's able to penetrate the tissue that's harder to see through a little bit better."
Nady said the positioning and the compression is the same for the patient.
"The mammogram itself isn't changing, it's the way we capture the image and store the image."
It's an advancement for those who'll use the machine, she said.
"They can manipulate the image on the computer screen just like a regular photograph. You can change the brightness and the contrast - well, you can do that same thing to the image itself. They can focus on specific areas that the image is coming up on to the screen, and they can enhance it."
Not only will health care workers be able to have a clear digital picture that they can manipulate, they'll also have the results faster.
For women, mammograms are an important tool that can help save lives, said Nady.
"We catch cancers sometimes seven years before it can be felt, so early detection is really the best course because your treatment is so much better."
WHEN TO HAVE ONE
Karen Nady, mammographer at YRMC, recommends:
• Women starting at age 40 should have a mammogram yearly.
• For women under the age of 40 and/or if there's a family history of breast cancer, health care professionals can make individual recommendations.