HOUSTON (September 24, 2008)

Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital to offer digital mammography, beginning Oct. 1.

Recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), digital mammography is a fairly new method for imaging the breasts. It is particularly recommended for women who are under the age of 50 or who have very dense breast tissue at any age. Women who have a family history of breast cancer should also consider being evaluated using digital mammography.

While an X-ray beam is still used to penetrate the breast tissue, digital mammography displays the image on a computer screen and stores it electronically on an optical disk rather than placing the image on film. Additionally, with digital mammography, the magnification, orientation, brightness and contrast of the mammogram image can be altered after the exam is completed to help the radiologist more clearly see certain areas of the breast.

"The use of this digital technology is rapidly increasing among breast centers, nationwide," says Dr. Doug Ardoin, chief executive officer of Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital. "Results from a digital mammogram can be turned around faster, allowing physicians to have access to reports immediately, initiating a treatment plan sooner."

Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital provides the community with a full-service cancer center offering quality treatment and compassionate care close to home. The facility proudly maintains its status as an approved Community Comprehensive Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (ACoS CoC). The ACoS COC also awarded the facility a three year approval with commendations in the areas of cancer related quality improvements, prevention and early detection, and the education of the cancer registry staff.

From routine screenings to complex treatment, Memorial Hermann Northwest offers a continuum of diagnostic treatment and support services designed with the needs of patients in mind. Anyone interested can make an appointment by calling The Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital Cancer Center at 713.867.3350.