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St. Francis Adds Powerful New Tool In Fight for Early Detection of Breast Cancer 

This year in America, more than 184,450 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Today, St. Francis Hospital & Health Services advanced the fight against this pervasive disease by installing a new cutting edge digital mammography system for its patients.

This system, a GE Healthcare Senographe Digital Mammography system, provides physicians with clear and precise all-digital images, rather than images on X-ray film. What’s more, the system provides the largest field of view currently available, which can be extremely helpful for precision imaging of patients with diverse shapes and sizes.

“This is new and powerful technology for the detection and fight against breast cancer,” says Marilyn Alexander, mammography technologist.  “Digital systems such as the new Senographe Essential allow us to offer our patients state-of-the-art mammograms that are fast and easy. And it gives our referring physicians accurate images to use in diagnosis.”

In Missouri, breast cancer will affect more than 3,880 this year. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million U.S. women 40 years of age or older have never had a mammogram, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

“This new digital technology will provide both increased accuracy and ease of use for our patients,” says Alexander. “Providing outstanding diagnostic equipment for patients is a vital step to good preventive health, and one we take very seriously.”

There are many advantages to a digital system. The images are clear and easy to read, and it offers an excellent view of the breast, especially near the skin line, chest wall and in women with diverse breast tissue types.

The digital image is ready to read within ten seconds – there is no longer a wait for films to be developed to be sure the images are usable. Digital mammograms take as little as half the time of film. And if a second opinion is needed, the image can be sent electronically to a consulting physician virtually instantaneously.

Funding for the digital mammography has come from many sources including civic groups, individuals, and proceeds from the Maryville Marathon and the 2010 St. Francis Gala, sponsored by St. Francis Hospital Foundation and St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary.

For more information about St. Francis Imaging services, check on line at www.stfrancismaryville.com.  To schedule a digital mammogram, call (660) 562-7907.

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