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Digital vs. Film Mammograms

Miami Valley Hospital Breast Centers offer digital mammography, which is a powerful tool for accurate and early detection. Since the records are digital, they can be viewed online at any Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) Breast Center as well as by a physician anywhere using a secured Web connection.

In addition to tumors and cysts, radiologists look for microcalcifications inside the breast. These are only about a tenth of a millimeter in size. At MVH Breast Center, x-rays taken with high-resolution digital mammography units can be on the monitor and the images reversed to show black as white and vice versa. This allows radiologists closer inspection and often earlier detection of breast cancer. Our digital mammography gives a more accurate view of dense breasts and of the breasts in women in the peri-menopausal population.

All mammography equipment must be certified by the federal government, so there are very few manufacturers who make it. MVH uses Hologic Selenia digital mammography. This represents a multi-million dollar investment that helps our patients get the most accurate images possible.

If further views are required or breast cancer is detected by biopsy, MVH Breast Center offers more advanced imaging including Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Computerized Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resource Imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound.

The Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST), coordinated by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN), compared digital versus film mammography.

The findings showed:

  • Digital mammography was significantly better than film mammography in screening women who were under age 50, or women of any age who had very dense breasts.
  • Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since 1990, and these decreases are believed to be the result, in part, of earlier detection and improved treatment.

Learn more about services and procedures offered at the MVH Breast Centers.

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