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Breast cancer screening program at SMH to add Saturday appointments

Posted May 15, 2013

Computed radiography (CR) mammogram machines the provincial government announced this week will spend $25 million to replace and phase-out over the next few months, will not impact the breast screening program at Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH).

That's because SMH is already "equipped with a state-of-the-art Direct Radiology (DR) mammography machine," similar units that will replace the CR devices still used for approximately 20 per cent of mammograms in Ontario. It has never been used at Stevenson.

"Our DR equipment is considered to be more effective and better at detecting cancer than CR units," according to Annette Jones, SMH President and CEO, in a press release. "We are confident that our mammography patients have received appropriate radiological imaging and encourage them to return to SMH for their next mammography or Ontario Breast Screening Program appointment."

The Digital Mammography Suite opened at SMH in March, 2012, funded in large part locally through the fundraising efforts of the SMH Foundation and its Crystal Clear Campaign.

SMH has one GE Senographe Essential DR Mammo unit. In 2012-13 the program completed about 1,500 cases. It was down the first four months at the beginning of the fiscal year to renovate and install the new unit. "

"Our technologists are highly trained and have received the Canadian Breast Imaging (CBI) designation," added Jeff Kerk, Manager of Diagnostic Imaging. "Our one-stop shop offers digital mammography and breast ultrasound studies. It is also affiliated with the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) and we have bone mineral densitometry studies available."

Beginning this summer, OBSP appointments will be available Saturdays at Stevenson; expanding service currently open Monday to Friday.

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