New mammogram machines designed with patient comfort in mind | KOB 4
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New mammogram machines designed with patient comfort in mind

Emily Jaceks
October 18, 2018 06:13 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A new machine is helping to improve the comfort for women who undergo mammograms.

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“So this light, some patients love. If it's a Lobo football game, you can turn it to red,” Dr. Brett Weitzel, Breast Imaging Medical Director of Radiology Associates of Albuquerque said.

Lights line the “Mammomat,” one of three new 3D mammography machines available at Radiology Associates of Albuquerque.

Doctors said they put the patients at ease, while the plates on the machine improve patient comfort.

“Which we know is one of the obstacles or hurdles to getting a screening mammogram, and we're trying to alleviate that so we can get more women in for their screening mammograms,” Dr. Weitzel said.

Doctors say the Mammomat is so precise that it can detect a tumor about the size of the tip of a sharpened pencil.

“That would be a stage one breast cancer, and that is the absolute best time to detect breast cancer,” Dr. Weitzel said.

It's a sad fact, but every year about 1,700 new cases are diagnosed in New Mexico.

“Using a machine like this, we can catch about 90 or more percent of those women who have breast cancer,” Dr. Weitzel said.“It's unique in that it actually uses a much lower dose of radiation and it uses a wide angle, which is actually the widest angle on the market. It gives about three and a half times resolution compared to prior screening mammograms.

And better resolution means a better chance of finding abnormalities.

“This is actually the second unit in the United States that's been installed,” Dr. Weitzel said.

Doctors hope by removing some of the barriers that make women uncomfortable, more will squeeze in that potentially life-saving appointment.

“Get your mammograms. Be on top of it. There's always ways and means to get it. So don't forget,” Dr. Usha Venkatraj, Hematologist and Oncologist at Presbyterian Cancer Care said.

All women 40 and older are encouraged to get an annual mammogram.

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Emily Jaceks

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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