AMC receives key grant

SARANAC LAKE The recent awarding of a $500,000 grant from the Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation will play a significant role in establishing a Comprehensive Breast Imaging Program at Adirondack Medical Center. The Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation was founded by Countess Alicia Paolozzi to support efforts concerning the environment, the sustainability of agriculture, and issues involving both the elderly and women. Prior to her death in 2002, the Countess maintained a residence in Saranac Lake, in addition to homes in New York City and Charleston, S.C. Once completed, the Countess Alicia Spaulding-Paolozzi Comprehensive Breast Imaging Program will further fulfill AMCs mission of providing excellent health care close to home. Currently, residents of the Tri-Lakes region must travel significant distance in order to receive digital mammography and breast MRI services that AMCs planned Comprehensive Breast Imaging Program AMC will provide. We couldnt be more pleased to have the support of the Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation, said Chandler Ralph, President & CEO of AMC. While there have been significant gains in the fight against breast cancer, there is still much more to be done for New Yorks most rural communities. We are grateful to the Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation for recognizing the difference this program will make in so many lives. Breast cancer is a serious health concern in the North Country. AMCs primary and secondary service areas cover portions of five counties: Franklin, Essex, Clinton, St. Lawrence, and Hamilton. Three of those counties Hamilton, Franklin and St. Lawrence exceed the state average for breast cancer. Of those three, Hamilton has the highest rate in the state with over 150 cases per 100,000 women, compared to the state average of 126.2. The Comprehensive Breast Imaging Program at AMC will include a digital mammography suite, breast MRI, and additional capacity for breast ultrasound. Because the three imaging tools use different types of imaging technology, together they will give AMC physicians the range of tools they need for the over 400 women per month that receive mammograms at our facility. This program will give us a tremendous advantage in the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer by increasing the number of weapons in our arsenal and by improved efficiency and accessibility for our patients. said Richard M. Moccia, M.D., Medical Director of the Radiology and Medical Imaging Department at AMC. Equally as important are the qualifications of the physicians and staff who will be collaborating on the Breast Imaging Program. All of the physicians are board certified within their respective specialties, and the support staff have years of experience supplemented by ongoing education in the field of Radiology and Medical Imaging. Mammography is the most important tool doctors have to screen for and diagnose breast cancer and track women who have been diagnosed. Digital mammography uses the same technology as film, but the image is transferred to a digital file and viewed on a screen, eliminating the wait to develop a film image. This is also a greener process as it eliminates the traditional chemicals used for film development. The benefits of digital mammography include improved detection of breast cancers in women that have dense breast tissue; lower doses of radiation; faster access to the image for the Radiologist; a more precise reading of the image via zoom and contrast; shorter exam time for the patient; the convenience of digital storage; and eliminating the chemical waste associated with traditional image development. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging; rather it is used as a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities and can be used for guided breast biopsy. Ultrasound is used in breast imaging to evaluate abnormalities identified via screening. Ultrasound allows significant freedom to image the breast and, due to excellent contrast resolution, gives health care providers improved ability to evaluate abnormalities. The ultrasound can also be used by physicians for guided breast biopsy.

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