Last Thursday night on Aug. 26., the South Lincoln Hospital held a small event to commemorate the arrival of their newest mammogram machine. At the event, guests were welcomed to knowledgeable staff, light snacks, and a preview of the future Breast Boutique, which is projected to be fully online here in Kemmerer this December.
The new machine, a Fujifilm Aspire Cristalle, was leased by the hospital a few months ago to replace the radiology department’s aging machine. By leasing the machine instead of purchasing, the hospital aims to be more prepared to innovate with the next iteration of mammogram technology. With this new machine, the hospital is now able to perform highly accurate mammograms via 3D imaging, a notable upgrade over their old machine’s 2D perspective.
“We didn’t want to lose any patients because they were hearing about this 3D technology and going to other hospitals that were further away,” Sellers said.
Also at the event was one Kellen Gill, a clinical consultant who tirelessly extolled the virtues of this new machine to curious guests.
“[The machine] creates 15 different projection images, so that any tissue that is superimposed can be unsuperimposed by the radiologist as needed in order to detect masses.”
The new machine also comes equipped with a comfort paddle, which helps provide greater comfort for patients due to its flexibility. While the pain can’t be removed entirely, Sellers added that “breast cancer hurts more than a mammogram.”
And this upgrade has already been paying off, as Sellers estimated that there were at least three patients who had lumps that were caught by their machine that their old machine might have otherwise missed.
“Wyoming is one of the lowest states as far as women getting their mammograms goes. And we were noticing that our younger population was not really getting their screening mammograms, so we wanted to market and showcase it off tonight, in order to incentivize people to come out learn what a mammogram is all about and why it was important,” Sellers said.
When asked about any potential delays in scheduling a mammogram, Sellers emphasized that as long as patients were associated with a doctor that they could come in and potentially even receive a screening mammogram that very day, along with the results. She also noted that most health insurance providers do cover these kinds of 3D screenings— a testament to their accuracy and efficiency.
“Ever since the beginning of time when they started doing mammograms, early detection has been the best thing. The sooner we catch it, the better. Especially [for] younger people. They don’t get it as often, but when they do, it’s more aggressive. So if we can catch it early, the better their chances.” — Sellers
Also present at this event was a small demo table of the recently announced Breast Boutique, which will act as a key resource for breast cancer survivors when it comes online later this December. First conceived in 1889, breast boutiques act as a formal component of the pre-op and post-op care that breast cancer patients will receive by assisting them with the prosthetic process. With the nearest boutique being situated out in Ogden, Utah, the hospital hopes to serve as a more reliable and consistent breast cancer resource, through both early detection measures as well as invaluable resources like the upcoming breast boutique.
All women over 40 years of age are strongly recommended to schedule a yearly mammogram in order to ensure early detection of breast cancer. It also bears mentioning that men can also develop breast cancer, albeit at a much lower rate compared to women. While men generally do not require mammograms on any regular basis, should they report any suspicious lumps, masses, or chest pains to their doctor, their doctor may order one such test.
The hospital and staff would also like to extend their special thanks to the Wyoming Breast Cancer Institute for providing the funding and gift bags for this event. The staff also hope that you’ll join them with their next event later this fall: a paint ‘n sip. Be sure to keep an eye out for further details in the near future.