DOVER-FOXCROFT - Mayo Regional Hospital will open its new Imaging Center for Women on Sept. 23 in the recently constructed Ambulatory Services Unit wing. The imaging suite will continue to provide mammographic services including screening and diagnostic exams, as well as bone mineral density testing for osteoporosis.
The Imaging Center for Women opening is the final step in an $8 million facility expansion program at Mayo that has constructed three new additions and renovated much of the existing hospital over the past 28 months.
The Imaging Center, formerly located in the annex of the Old Mayo Building, has been operating in temporary hospital space for more than a year. The move to its new, permanent location provides much more room and privacy for patients. The Imaging Center can be accessed through the ASU pedestrian entrance and is located adjacent to Day Surgery on the hospital’s first floor.
The Imaging Center is a self-contained unit that includes a reception/waiting area, a room for mammography, a room for bone density testing, a patient education room, and a processing area for the technologist and radiologist to view resulting images.
“The area will be much more private and spacious than what we’ve had before, and it will be attractively decorated to help our patients relax,” said Ruby Grindle, Radiology Department manager. “Having a separate room for patient education is a nice addition, since we will have space to show films, display educational pamphlets and teach our patients how to do breast self-examinations.”
Mayo’s mammography service is accredited by the American College of Radiology and provided over 3,000 mammogram screenings last year. The hospital staff includes registered mammographic technologists, as we as sonographers who perform all patient exams including breast ultrasound, if needed.
Mayo has scheduled two special events during October -- National Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- to improve access to mammograms for low-income women. On Oct. 16, the hospital is partnering with the Penobscot Breast and Cervical Health Coalition to provide 10 free mammograms. On Oct. 30, Mayo will provide 15 more free mammograms to women over the age of 35 who have no health insurance and have never had a mammogram before. Recipients will be referred by area physicians and Penquis CAP Health Services. Anyone who needs a mammogram and fits the guidelines may contact their physician to set up an appointment.
In addition to constructing new space for the Imaging Center, Mayo is investing over $250,000 in new technology to improve both mammogram screening and bone density testing capabilities.
The largest investment is for a computer aided detection (CAD) system for use in breast cancer screening to assist radiologists in minimizing false negative readings during mammograms. The new system should be installed by the end of this year.
“Early diagnosis is the key to surviving breast cancer, and mammography screening with the benefit of the CAD system can detect additional cancers each year,” said Dr. Mark Piccirillo, Mayo’s Chief of Radiology. “Regular screening mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer early, when it is easiest to treat. With computer aided detection, it gives the radiologist an extra pair of eyes to identify abnormalities or signs of cancer during our mammogram screening process.”
Studies show the use of computer aided detection systems in mammogram screenings can result in earlier detection of up to 23.4% of cancers currently detected with screening mammography in those women who had a prior screening mammogram 9-24 months earlier.
After digitizing a mammogram, the CAD system’s specialized processing software analyzes the image and draws the radiologist’s attention to suspicious features that may be indicative of cancer. The radiologist typically reviews the entire mammogram first and then activates the CAD monitor to see if any areas have been highlighted for additional review. If an image is marked, the radiologist goes back to the original mammogram to review that area of the image in more detail.
Use of the CAD system in mammogram screening is reimburseable for Medicare and commercially insured patients.
Mayo will also be improving its ability to diagnose and monitor for treatment of osteoporosis by adding an axial bone densitometry service. This new equipment, to be installed this month, is being financed by a $58,000 fundraising campaign undertaken by the hospital Auxiliary.
Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease and occurs as part of the natural aging process when bones begin to deteriorate faster than new bone can be formed. The disease can progress to the point where a fracture can occur, such as the hip, spine or wrist.
An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, most aged 65 and older. Women are most susceptible, and nearly 80% of all osteoporosis patients are women. Osteoporotic fractures are estimated to result in $14 billion in healthcare costs annually in the U.S., and cause over 430,000 hospital admissions.
Bone mineral density testing is especially recommended for women who are age 65 and older, postmenopausal women with one or more risk factors, and all postmenopausal women who have a fracture.
By purchasing the new bone density testing equipment, Mayo will be able to provide patients with a more precise measurement of bone mineral density by concentrating on the hip and spine. This will improve screening for osteoporosis, and also in monitoring the effectiveness of treatments that replace lost bone for women and men. Bone density testing is able to help physicians determine a proper course of therapy to help reduce fracture risk and prevent future bone loss.
|Back to News||Home||Print This Story|