Southcoast Health System has created the region's most comprehensive network of breast health services — including 100 percent digital mammography at all 12 service locations — that bring women the very latest in technology and equipment along with the comfort and reassurance of caring staff available in your own community.
Each year, Southcoast staff perform and evaluate more than 40,000 mammograms, giving them an expertise that is unmatched by most community hospitals.
From the moment an abnormality is detected through a screening mammogram with the imaging center, the team is able to seamlessly devise the best treatment plan in coordination with the Southcoast Breast Center.
A mammogram uses special X-ray images to detect any abnormal growths, or changes in breast tissue.
The breast is x-rayed from two different angles, creating a set of images.
There are two kinds of mammograms — a screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram. A screening mammogram is a routine study done on a regular basis.
With the digital mammography technology available at all our sites, the radiologist reviews electronic images of the breast using special high-resolution monitors. The physician can adjust the brightness, change contrast and zoom in for close ups of specific areas of interest.
Digital mammography feels identical to conventional screening from a patient's perspective, though women may notice shorter exam times and a reduction in call-backs to obtain additional images.
Computer-Aided Detection System (CAD)
Southcoast Hospitals' mammography sites also offer computerized technology, which increases our ability to detect breast cancer at a very early stage.
The digital mammography units at Southcoast have Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) technology built right in. Digital CAD highlights characteristics commonly associated with breast cancer. When activated, it flags abnormalities to help the radiologist detect early breast cancer. CAD is, in essence, a second set of eyes to support and enhance the radiologist's judgment.
The CAD system is used as an additional mammography reading by actually pinpointing suspicious areas that might require additional testing. Studies have shown that the CAD system can increase detection of very early stage breast cancer by as much as 23 percent over standard mammography alone.
CAD has also proven very useful in mammography exams involving dense breast tissue — which is often present in pre-menopausal women.
CAD is now in use for all mammograms at all of our sites. All mammograms and CAD readings are interpreted by our highly trained radiologists who are certified in the field of mammography.