A mammogram is a digital image of the breast that’s used to detect and evaluate breast changes. Three of Allegiance Health’s imaging locations are equipped with full-field mammography, which includes a computer-aided detection system (CAD) that assists in detecting breast tissue abnormalities. Breast exams are conducted by certified Mammacare® specialists. All mammography services, technologists, equipment and radiologists are accredited by the FDA and meet the quality standards of the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA).
Digital mammography looks and feels similar to conventional mammography, but it provides physicians with clear, digital images of the breast, rather than images on film.
This technology allows radiologists to adjust contrast and zoom in on suspicious areas. The digital mammograms can be quickly and efficiently stored on a computer and electronically sent to physician offices.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 40 and older have a mammogram every year for as long as they are in good health. Following this guideline improves the chances of early diagnosis and successful treatment.
Digital Breast Tomography
Allegiance Health is proud to offer advanced mammogram technology for women in our community. Digital breast tomography (DBT) is a non-invasive, three-dimensional imaging technique used for the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. A new study shows three-dimensional mammograms may be better at picking up invasive tumors and avoiding false alarms than traditional breast cancer screening methods.
While conventional mammography takes images of the breasts from two angles, the FDA-approved three-dimensional scanner moves in an arc over the breasts, taking images from various angles. DBT provides the radiologist with multiple-layered images that separate overlapping breast tissue. This adds clarity to the digital mammography image, which is ideal for patients with dense breast tissue (about 40 – 50 percent of women). If a patient has been notified of having dense breasts, tomography is best suited for them.
At Allegiance Health, DBT is initially being used primarily for diagnostic purposes, such as when a woman identifies a breast lump, has dense breast tissue, or had a two-dimensional mammogram that revealed an area concern. A doctor will determine which type of breast imaging follow up is most appropriate in each case.
Because of the improved visualization DBT allows the radiologist, the technology has been shown to result in fewer false positives. With a lower rate of call backs for follow-up mammograms, it may also lead to fewer unnecessary biopsies. All of these outcomes mean positive gains in terms of patient care and greater efficiency.
The Allegiance Mobile Health Coach is a mobile unit that offers both mammography and bone density exams. The Health Coach travels to eight different locations in South Central Michigan: Albion, Adrian, Grass Lake, Brooklyn, Onsted, Mason, Leslie, Vandercook and the Center for Family Health in downtown Jackson.
Free Mammograms for Women In Need
Through a grant from the Mid-Michigan affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the Allegiance Women’s Health Center provides free mammography screening for breast cancer for women in Jackson County who are uninsured, underinsured or low income, and between the ages of 40-59. Women are welcome to call the Allegiance Women’s Health Center at (517) 784-8665 to learn if they qualify