Lake City adding digital mammographyLAKE CITY — Digital mammograms to screen for breast cancer will be available at Lake City Medical Center-Mayo Health System starting March 24. This venture is thanks, in large part, to community support for Project Pink.
By: Asia Christensen, The Republican Eagle
LAKE CITY — Digital mammograms to screen for breast cancer will be available at Lake City Medical Center-Mayo Health System starting March 24. This venture is thanks, in large part, to community support for Project Pink.
Through Project Pink, the medical center raised a significant amount of funding to help purchase the digital mammography machine. It is the best technology available for breast imaging, and it replaces the center’s 10-year-old film-screen technology.
Dr. Tom Witt, president and chief executive officer of the medical center, says it is proven that digital mammography can detect smaller masses in women with dense breasts than conventional film-screen. Smaller masses signify cancer in its earliest stages.
“Early detection of breast cancer is the key to surviving and can mean the difference between a curable or terminal prognosis,” Witt said.
In addition, digital images are generally better than film because they can be manipulated much like images on a digital camera for a better view, and they are easily transferable if further evaluation is needed.
Along with digital mammography, the medical center will install computer aided detection (CAD) software. It will assist radiologists in reading mammograms by highlighting suspicious areas on the image.
“We are thankful to our community for helping ensure we can offer such high quality breast cancer screenings close to home now,” Witt said.
Community support included individual and group donations, as well as participation in fundraising events such as a talent show, rose sale, volley for the cure, 5K walk/run, bowling and golf. LCMC also received a $100,000 grant from the Minnesota Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
In addition to raising funds for a digital mammography machine, Project Pink - a collaborative effort among the health center, the Minnesota Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Minnesota SAGE Screening Program and the American Cancer Society - focused on breast cancer awareness, and education for at-risk, underserved, minority and uninsured or underinsured women.
Awareness efforts, including direct mail to thousands of women targeted by age, distribution of new literature in multiple languages, and several educational sessions in the community, took place throughout 2008.
“We believe our awareness efforts have been successful,” Witt said, explaining that “147 more women had a mammogram in our facility last year than in 2007. While the fundraising portion of Project Pink has ended, the awareness portion will continue indefinitely.”
The medical center plans to look for opportunities to present additional educational sessions, and there is a possibility of starting a support group for local breast cancer survivors.
For more information, contact Christensen at (651) 345-1176 or at email@example.com.