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An IU Health White Memorial Hospital Release

—Indiana University Health White Memorial is now offering extended hours for screening mammograms until 6 pm on Monday, Thursday and Friday.

“Women are caretakers who often focus on others rather than on themselves, but it is important to remember the caretaker has to be healthy too,” stated Jeff Zeh, president of IU Health White Memorial Hospital. “We want to remove any barriers women may have that prevent them from having their screening mammogram.”

The American Cancer Society recommends women between the ages of 35 and 40 years old have a baseline screening mammogram and then an annual mammogram after age 40. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the U.S., second only to skin cancer.

Mammography is specialized medical imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to see inside the breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, aids in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.

Mammography remains the gold standard for screening for early stage breast cancer. Digital mammography allows the radiologist to capture and manipulate the images so abnormalities can be seen more easily. For example, in women with dense fibrocystic breast tissue, their breast tissue appears white on a mammogram. Complicating this is that tumors are also white. But with digital mammograms the radiologist can manipulate the contrasts of the images, making them darker or lighter, allowing for the masses to be identified. The images can also be enlarged on the computer to focus on areas of concern.

Digital mammography, also called full-field digital mammography (FFDM), is a mammography system in which the x-ray film is replaced by electronics that convert x-rays into mammographic pictures of the breast. These systems are similar to those found in digital cameras and their efficiency enables better pictures with a lower radiation dose. These images of the breast are transferred to a computer for review by the radiologist and for long term storage. The patient’s experience during a digital mammogram is similar to having a conventional film mammogram.

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