St. Elizabeth Hospital first in Fox Cities with digital mammography
Powerful new tool aids in fight for early detection of breast cancer
06 / 12 / 2008
Maria Nelson, Media Relations
Affinity Health System
(920) 554-0686 (pager)
APPLETON, Wis. – For eight years, Linda Hidde of Appleton has come to the Breast Center at St. Elizabeth Hospital for her annual mammogram and each year, her visit has been uneventful.
Her visit on June 11 was different, however, not in a bad way. Hidde, 48, was the first woman to have a digital mammogram in the city of Appleton. “Really? That’s exciting to hear,” said Hidde.
Digital mammography, a state-of-the-art system to aid in the early detection of breast cancer, has arrived at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
Digital mammography takes mammogram screening for breast cancer out of the era of film and into the digital age. Images are immediately available on computer screen and can be manipulated to more clearly see specific areas of the breast.
“Research shows that digital mammography is better at screening women who are under age 50, pre or perimenopausal women of any age and women with dense breast tissue,” said Lisa Susdorf, manager of Radiology Services at St. Elizabeth Hospital. “This technology provides high-precision accuracy.”
This year, more than 212,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. “A vital step for early breast cancer detection is being able to provide the best diagnostic mammography equipment possible,” said Travis Andersen, president of St. Elizabeth Hospital. “That is something we take very seriously and that’s why we pushed to bring digital mammography to St. Elizabeth at this time.”
Hidde was amazed by the clarity of the new mammograms. “I can see where being able to see images digitally can be quite a benefit,” she said. “Radiologists have much more options as far as contrast.”
And a woman’s appointment time is shorter. “Before, you would need to wait while the film was being developed to make sure they took a good shot,” Hidde said. “The process today was much quicker by having the tech not leave the room to process the film.”
St. Elizabeth began using digital mammography in June. Women may schedule their appointment by contacting the St. Elizabeth Hospital Breast Center at (920) 831-1200.
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For the Editor:
Affinity Health System, a faith-based regional health care network, is the Fox Valley’s second-largest employer, according to the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry. For the fourth consecutive year, Affinity has been named one of the nation’s top 64 health systems based on clinical performance according to Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. For ten consecutive years, Affinity Health System has been named to the SDI (formerly Verispan) Integrated Health Network Top 100, an annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated health care networks in the nation. Both St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh rank among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in terms of quality and efficiency, as determined by the 2007 Premier | CareScience Select practice National Quality Award. Members of Affinity include Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Health Foundation, Oshkosh; St. Elizabeth Hospital and the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, Appleton; Affinity Medical Group, a regional network of 25 family practice and specialty clinics – 22 of which are recognized as NCQA Level III medical homes, the highest level of recognition – in 14 communities; Calumet Medical Center, Chilton; and Affinity Occupational Health.