New Digital Mammography Unit at Harris Methodist Southwest Cuts Wait Time For Screenings
09/03/2008

FORT WORTH, Texas — Rosemary Passons will never forget the words of Dr. Angel Negron, an oncologist on the medical staff of Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital, after being treated for her second bout with breast cancer.

“He told me, ‘Congratulations, you dodged a bullet … again,’” she said.

The 80-year-old cancer survivor had 24 years of clean mammograms under her belt when her latest screening at the hospital’s breast center detected abnormal cells. Her biopsy showed ductal carcinoma in situ — a type of non-invasive, early-stage breast cancer that can become more aggressive if left untreated. She underwent a successful mastectomy less than two weeks later and needed no additional treatment.

Patients who catch breast cancer early have a 96 percent survival rate, according to the American Cancer Society. At the hospital’s breast center, patients are getting screened faster than before with the addition of a third digital mammography unit.

Wait time for an appointment has been cut in half, said Glenda Ostrokol, RT(R)(M), CRA, director of the breast center. The number of patients getting screened has increased from 40 or 50 to about 75 a day, Ostrokol said.

“So many breast centers have closed in our area during the past few years, and those patients needed a place to be treated,” Ostrokol said. “Yearly mammograms are important because the sooner cancer is detected, the higher the success rate and less invasive the treatment.”

While many years had passed since her first cancer diagnosis and treatment, Passons said she knew in the back of her mind it could return.

“I’m just so glad it was caught it in plenty of time,” she said.

About Digital Mammography
Digital mammography takes an electronic image of the breast and stores it into a computer where it can be enhanced, magnified, or manipulated for further evaluation. The electronic image also can be printed on film. Traditional film mammography units use film to both capture and display the image. The sensitivity of film mammography is somewhat limited in younger women or women with dense breasts, a population at higher risk for breast cancer.

For more information about the hospital’s breast center or to schedule a screening mammogram, call 817-433-6616.

About Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital
Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital (HMSW) has provided quality and compassionate care to the residents of southwest Tarrant County for more than two decades. A member of Texas Health Resources, HMSW is licensed for 230 beds and provides a wide array of comprehensive services, including: surgical and imaging services, 24-hour emergency services, orthopedics and sports therapy, adult critical care and a level 3a neonatal intensive care unit, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiovascular services, cancer care, rehabilitation, and more. HMSW is home to 578 members of the medical staff, 992 employees and 120 volunteers. For more information, please call 1-888-4-HARRIS, or visit www.texashealth.org/hmsw.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.