New Mammography Advances Allow for a More Comfortable Mammogram

2012-04-12, Radiology.jpg

Pointe Coupee General Hospital now provides a new product that dramatically eases the discomfort many women feel when they get a mammogram.

The FDA-cleared foam cushion, called MammoPad®, creates a softer, warmer mammogram.

Pointe Coupee General Hospital is a certified Softer Mammogram Provider®, a distinction awarded only to an elite group of healthcare facilities. The center hopes to increase the number of area women who follow recommendations for regular screenings.

“The discomfort many women feel during mammography compression is widely known to be a reason that some don't get regular screenings,” said Robert L. TrahanM.D., radiologist at Pointe Coupee General Hospital. In addition to compression, the cold surfaces and hard edges of the mammography device make the experience uncomfortable for some patients.

“The breast cushion answers these complaints by providing a soft warm cushion for the breast during mammography,” said Dr. Trahan. "And because women are more relaxed during the exam, it makes it even easier for our mammography technologists to get the best possible image."

The single-use, adhesive-backed foam cushion attaches to the compression plates of the mammography device. It was developed by Stanford University breast surgeon Gale Lebovic, M.D., who understood mammography discomfort from both a physician and patient’s point of view.

The recyclable breast cushion is “invisible” to X-rays and does not interfere with the image quality of the mammogram.

“We try to create the best possible experience for our patients,” said Dr. Trahan. “We’re pleased to be able to offer our patients this important enhancement.” For more information, call the center at 225-638-5703 or view the following link - Mammopad.

The American Cancer Society reports women can greatly reduce their risk of death from breast cancer if they receive regular mammographic screens. For this reason, both the society and the American College of Radiology recommend that women 40 and older receive mammograms yearly.

Yet despite the urgency of this message, nearly 40 percent of American women don't get regular recommended mammograms. Studies have shown mammography pain is a major reason some women do not return for annual screening.

The new foam cushion could help reverse this trend. MammoPad has been clinically studied in both the U.S. and Sweden, where evaluations in more than 1,300 patients found approximately 70 percent experienced a significant reduction in pain when the cushion was used, Dr. Trahan noted.

“Early detection of breast cancer can make the crucial difference between life and death,” said Dr. Trahan. “Mammograms identify lumps that a woman’s self-exam wouldn’t find until an average of 1.7 years later. That is why regular mammograms are the only scientifically proven way to reduce breast cancer mortality.

“This breast cushion removes a major barrier to women receiving this important procedure.”