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Digital Radiography Used for Breast Screening at QHC Digital Radiography Used for Breast Screening at QHC

Quinte Health Care would like to reassure patients that we use only digital direct radiography technology for mammography screening at QHC.

An independent study led by a Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) has been receiving media attention that digital direct radiography (DR) and screen film are significantly more effective than digital computed radiography (CR) at detecting breast cancer. QHC already uses DR technology.

Click here for more information about mammography technology.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Source: Cancer Care Ontario

What is mammography? What is the difference between mammography using CR and DR technology?

Mammography is the primary test used to screen for breast cancer. Traditionally, women were screened with screen film mammography, in which an image was captured on, and viewed on a film. With advances in technology, digital mammography was developed, where images of the breast were no longer viewed on film, but were viewed and assessed on a computer screen.

There are two types of digital mammography systems referred to as digital direct radiography (DR) and computed radiography (CR).

DR - the image is captured and is immediately electronically processed as a digital image.

CR - the image is captured within a cassette on an image plate and processed as a digital image. An external reading device is needed to generate the digital image.

An independent study led by a Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) has shown that digital direct radiography (DR) and screen film are significantly more effective than digital computed radiography (CR) at detecting breast cancer.

Mammography with CR technology is used nationally and internationally, and currently accounts for 24 percent of all mammography machines in the province of Ontario.

What does this mean for women who have been screened with CR mammography?

Mammography as a breast cancer screening test remains the most effective way to detect breast cancer in average risk women.

The chance of having an undiagnosed cancer in women who have been screened with mammography using CR technology is extremely low.

Women can receive information from the clinic where they were last screened to find out what type of mammography technology they were last screened with and their choices regarding their next screening appointment. A list of all clinics that offer breast mammography is available at www.cancercare.on.ca/mammogram. Women can also contact Cancer Care Ontario at 1-800-668-9304 Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for more information.

When should women have breast screening?

The Ontario Breast Screening Program recommends that women aged 50 to 74 years have a screening mammogram every two years. Women aged 30 to 69 years who have been identified as being at high risk for breast cancer should have a screening mammogram and breast MRI every year.

How do I find out what technology was used for my last screen?

Quinte Health Care only has DR technology. Up until October 2012, breast screening done at QHC Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital used film/screen mammography and all other QHC hospitals already used the DR technology. The film/screen used at PECMH until October 2012 is still significantly more effective than the CR technology.

Women can receive information from the clinic where they were last screened to find out what type of mammography technology they were last screened with and their choices regarding their next screening appointment.

Should I be rescreened if my last mammogram used CR technology?

The chance of having an undiagnosed cancer in women who have been screened with mammography using CR is extremely low.

Women can receive information from the clinic where they were last screened to find out what type of mammography technology they were last screened with and their choices regarding their next screening appointment. A list of all clinics that offer breast mammography is available at www.cancercare.on.ca/mammogram. Women can also contact Cancer Care Ontario at 1-800-668-9304 Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for more information.