Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle provides direct digital mammography, which provides higher quality images than conventional screen-film technology. Younger patients with dense breasts in particular can benefit from direct digital mammography services, according to a study by the National Cancer Institute. The study revealed that direct digital mammography is significantly better at diagnosing cancer in women under 50 and in women of any age who have very dense breasts.
Film mammography has been used for more than 35 years, but has been shown to be less sensitive for women who have dense breasts. Studies have shown that approximately 10 to 20 percent of cancers detected during physical examination or breast self-examination are not visible on film mammography.
Direct digital mammography also provides easier storage and transmission of images because the "pictures" can be saved and distributed electronically. In some cases, it also allows for less exposure to radiation because the digital image allows physicians to magnify areas of the breast instead of subjecting patients to additional images during the mammogram.
According to the American Cancer Society, women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health. Women who have a family history of breast cancer and/or women who are at higher risk for breast cancer should consult with their physicians about whether they should begin screening at an earlier age and how frequently they should receive a mammogram.
To schedule a direct digital mammogram, screening or diagnostic appointment, call 817-250-3400.