New digital mammography system to bolster diagnosis services at Warrensburg Health Center

WARRENSBURG Warrensburg Health Center has installed technologically advanced diagnostic equipment which is likely to boost the quality of life for thousands of women in the North Country. A ribbon cutting event was set for 12:30 p.m. Friday for a new digital mammography system that provides sharper, more detailed images and offers a new efficiency in diagnosis and convenience for both patients and health care workers. The machine, when combined with other diagnostic tools, helps doctors detect cancer in its earliest stages, particularly for women with dense breast tissue, according to various cancer institutes and medical organizations. The $460,000 mammography system, funded by a grant from the Charles R. Wood foundation, has been in use for a little more than a week. Already, more women than ever are booking appointments for routine cancer screenings, according to Shelly Williams, Imaging Services Manager of Warrensburg Health Center. She said the center had 2,000 screenings last year, and expects to tally substantially more this year. This new advanced mammography system here in Warrensburg means that local residents, including those with no health insurance, can get the best technology available without traveling great distances, Williams said. She added that medical statistics have proven that digital technology detects 25 percent more cases of cancer at earlier stages. This is incredible state-of-the-art equipment, Williams said. People with limited income or no insurance can now get the same quality of care as people who own lakefront property. Carol Tanner, Staff mammography for the health Center, said the digital mammography system includes a computerized image analysis that flags suspicious areas of the breast, to back up doctors highly trained eyes. The digitized images can be sent to radiologists and doctors in other rooms as the center so they can give it a thorough look while the patient is still on-site. Such efficiency may save critical days of delay if a follow-up x-ray is needed, Tanner said. She said the Charles R. Wood Foundation had been very wise in choosing to fund such an advanced system in Northern Warren County, which has critical health-care needs. This is the greatest gift, she said. And it will be saving many lives.

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