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A mammogram is an x-ray image of the breasts, and its primary purpose is to identify breast cancer in
the earliest, most curable stages. Regular mammograms are an important part of women's health care, because each year more than 200,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Digital mammography is a new imaging method that takes an electronic image of the breast and stores it on a computer rather than on film. The images can be viewed on high-resolution monitors, which enables radiologists to see the breast tissue and any abnormalities more clearly. The radiologist can also magnify and manipulate the image without having the patient come in for more pictures.
In addition to our board-certified and highly experienced radiologists, a computer-aided detection system scans the digital image and searches for abnormal areas of the breast, such as calcifications. The system highlights these abnormalities, in effect performing a "first look" for the radiologist.
Is digital better?
In 2005 the results of a large study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicating that digital mammography found 28 percent more cancers in women under 50 than film mammography found. This landmark trial included nearly 50,000 women at 33 clinical sites. Brown University's Center for Statistical Sciences developed the study's statistical design and analyzed the results.
Because women in this age group, as well as premenopausal and perimenopausal women, have dense breast tissue, digital mammography is more accurate in identifying changes that suggest early stages of cancer, which increases the likelihood of an early diagnosis and often life-saving treatment.
Digital is faster and more comfortable.
The process of digital mammography is much faster than traditional methods, minimizing the compression time and its discomfort to the patient. With digital mammography, the technologist can see the breast image right away. Patients no longer have to wait while an x-ray is developed to see if the mammogram is clear.
Making an appointment for a digital mammogram
Digital Mammography is available at Newport Hospital and the Portsmouth Imaging Center.
The women's imaging department at Newport Hospital is open six days a week and has convenient hours for women who prefer to come in before or after the work day. Please call 845-1346 for an appointment.
When you arrive at Newport Hospital, park in the patient lot on Powel Avenue; parking is free. Please check in at the registration area, just to the right of the lobby entrance.
Directions to the hospital