Design tweak is getting patients faster, better mammogram results

HOLLAND, Mich. – It’s a simple tweak, but it could save lives.

Mammograms aren’t a procedure associated with comfort, but they’re still the gold standard for detecting breast cancer. Now at Holland Hospital, patients can have the best of both worlds.

Hologic, the hospital’s medical imaging provider, recently released the Smart Curve paddle, a more ergonomic design meant to reduce pain and discomfort an estimated 75 percent of women report during mammography.

“Unfortunately, that is the main reason women avoid or delay scheduling a mammogram,” said Dr. Susan Ervine, the hospital’s Medical Director of Breast Imaging. “We felt that anything we could do to make mammograms more tolerable for patients who otherwise might avoid scheduling them at all, was kind of a game-changer for us.”

One in eight women are annually diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. but the hope is that the new design will, at the very least, get more in for early testing, which Holland Hospital recommends beginning at the age of 40.

“It’s really upped the ability for us to detect cancers earlier, especially in women with dense breast tissue, which includes about half the population.”

Not only did Holland acquire the Smart Curve paddles, but they also upgraded their software that allows doctors to make a more accurate diagnosis in less time. Dr. Ervine compared it to looking at a single 3x5 picture, versus flipping through the pages of a photo album.

Holland Hospital is one of the first in the area to get this new tech. They’re encouraging women to take advantage. To visit the hospital’s site, click here.

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