FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (Feb. 24, 2010) – The Piedmont Fayette Hospital (PFH) Women’s Imaging Center has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in digital mammography as the result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM) is one of Piedmont Fayette’s most recent advances in imaging and radiation services, an addition which allows PFH to continue providing the latest in options for digital mammography and breast cancer detection.
The ACR is a national organization which serves more than 32,000 diagnostic and interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, and nuclear medicine and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services. The ACR awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation of the practice. Evaluations are conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.
When you choose an ACR-accredited facility, you know:
- Your hospital has voluntarily gone through a rigorous review process to be sure it meets nationally-accepted standards
- The personnel are well qualified, through education and certification, to perform and interpret your medical images and administer your radiation therapy treatments
- The equipment is appropriate for the test or treatment you will receive, and the facility meets or exceeds quality assurance and safety guidelines
According to results from the ACRIN Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST), digital mammography detected up to 28 percent more cancers than screen film mammography in women with dense breasts, women younger than 50, and premenopausal or perimenopausal women.
"This digital mammography study demonstrates how new technologies are expanding our ability to detect breast cancer earlier in more women,” said Debora Coursey-Prah, M.D., of Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s Women’s Imaging Center and board-certified radiologist. “Since the addition of Full Field Digital Mammography to the Women’s Imaging Center in November 2009, we’ve also seen an increase in scheduling capacity for mammograms. This makes for quicker and more convenient scheduling for our patients. There is quicker confirmation of the quality of the digital images with no delay required.”
FFDM uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor, which can then be transmitted and stored just like computer files. Similar to conventional screen film mammograms, digital mammography uses compression and x-rays to create clear images of the inside of the breast. However, unlike film-based mammography digital mammograms produce images in a matter of seconds and can be manipulated. The physician can adjust brightness, contrast and magnify specific areas of interest such as microcalcifications, which are tiny deposits of calcium in the breast that appear as “spots” on the images.
Even though there has been a decline in the rate of deaths from breast cancer in recent years, it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Although no screening test is 100% effective, the combination of routine self breast-exam, annual clinical breast exam, and mammography have been shown to be a very effective means of screening for breast disease. When detected early, the chance for successful treatment is nearly 100 percent.
To schedule a mammogram please contact the Women’s Imaging Center at Piedmont Fayette Hospital at 770-719-7007. For more information on the Women’s Imaging Center, please visit fayettehospital.org.