Local hospital upgrades mammography machine - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local hospital upgrades mammography machine

Eau Claire (WQOW) - Detecting breast cancer used to be a 2-D playing field for one local hospital but with recent upgrades to its mammography machine radiologists and their patients are seeing clearer images to catching the deadly disease.

Diann Greener, a breast cancer survivor, said that cancer is a sneaky disease. "My breast cancer was found through mammography. Some people find a lump, I didn't. My doctor didn't. I had to go back when they thought they saw something,” Greener said.

Even the healthiest can't escape cancer's deadly grip. Greener said, "Hearing him talk and keep mentioning the words 'malignant' and 'abnormal' and 'breast cancer'”, brought back chilling memories from more than four years ago when Greener first learned of her diagnosis.

Sacred Heart Hospital's new 3-D mammography machine is digging deep to unveil layers where cancer can be lurking. Dr. Jan Stauss, a radiologist at Sacred Heart Hospital, said, "These really thin images help us differentiate normal breast tissue from suspicious lesions. Sometimes, lesions can hide behind normal breast tissue, and this new technology helps us identify those lesions better."

Despite being cancer-free, Greener still undergoes regular check-ups on the 3-D machine to make sure the cancer has not returned. "It definitely made me feel more confident in that if I had something again, there would be less doubt about it."

What are the benefits of this technology upgrade to the patient? Dr. Stauss said, "It results in a more confident report by the radiologist, which is really good news for the patient, as we reduce the number of call backs, meaning that the patient is less likely to get a phone call that she has to come back for additional imaging."

Dr. Stauss said breast cancer isn't always hereditary. Aside from self examinations, he recommends women 40-years and older to get an annual screening since breast cancer can hide between overlapping tissue.

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