ELWOOD — St. Vincent Mercy Hospital’s cancer program has grown with the addition of digital mammography and the expertise of cancer specialists seeing patients in Elwood.
The hospital acquired state-of-the-art full-field digital mammography technology in 2012.
“The full-field digital mammography equipment we have acquired produces images with exceptional quality and superb resolution,” explained radiology manager Jeff Lawson. “Because the images are digitally acquired and stored, they can be electronically enhanced to provide even better and more accurate diagnoses. Early detection of breast cancer by mammography screenings has been shown to significantly decrease breast cancer-related deaths because they detect cancer in its earliest stages, often years before a lump can be felt.”
The examination procedure for digital mammography is exactly the same as for film-screen mammography. However, instead of exposing film, the X-rays are directed to an advanced special detector that captures the image electronically.
Lawson has many positive things to say about the new mammography equipment, in addition to its increased diagnostic capabilities. The full-field digital mammography equipment is designed to improve patient comfort. It has many new features, such as flexible compression paddles and a technique that senses the thickness of the breast and applies only the amount of compression needed to produce a good image.
The new digital mammography features computer-aided detection, which provides increased accuracy in making a diagnosis.
During October, St. Vincent Mercy Hospital will be offering $55 discounted mammograms. Individuals also can purchase $55 mammogram certificates at the hospital’s Registration Desk, 1331 South A St., Elwood, any time. You also may call 552-4941 to schedule a mammogram and mention the $55 promotion.
The discounted mammograms are available for women age 40 or older, with no breast disease symptoms, no current or previous breast cancer and who have not had a mammogram within the last 12 months. Mammograms must be physician referred. Follow-up exams that may be recommended as a result of this initial screening are not eligible for the $55 discounted rate. Insurance may be billed for the follow-up exams.
Dr. Ubaidullah Sharief, a specialist in medical oncology and hematology has joined the hospital’s cancer program. Many of his Elwood patients can have their treatments in the hospital’s oncology and outpatient infusion department. If more complex chemotherapy is required, patients can receive treatment at St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital.
The St. Vincent Mercy Hospital cancer program is accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. Cancer accreditation is a great distinction for a critical access hospital to achieve and maintain.
For more information about the cancer program at St. Vincent Mercy Hospital, call 552-4585.
— For The Herald Bulletin