Anxiety and fear of pain keep many women from getting a mammogram. But imagine drifting off to a relaxing beach, a peaceful garden, or a captivating waterfall while modern and advanced imaging provides you a more comfortable experience and allows you to control the breast compression for your mammogram.
All of this is now possible at Leesburg Regional Medical Center, part of Central Florida Health. The center has installed the GE Senographe Pristina, a three-dimensional tomographic mammogram unit that is the newest technology available to detect breast cancer. In the past, LRMC utilized state-of-the-art 2-D imaging, but the 3-D Pristina takes diagnostic imaging to a new level and finds more cancers than 2-D mammography alone.
In tandem with the Pristina, a new SensorySuite creates a spa-like environment for patients. LRMC is one of only a handful of facilities in Florida to use SensorySuite, in which women as well as men getting tested for breast cancer can control the sights they see on a screen, the sounds they hear, and the aromas they smell. SensorySuite provides a soothing atmosphere rather than a cold, sterile setting.
“GE worked with women to design equipment that combines comfort with the best imaging technology to deliver precise diagnoses,” says Eileen M. Jones, LRMC’s lead mammographer who has more than 20 years of experience as a radiology technologist and registered nurse. “It’s also designed to alleviate the stress and tension often associated with mammography.”
Women are often more likely to get a mammogram if they know the experience will be tailored to their individual needs. The physical features of the Pristina have soft, rounded edges to help reduce anxiety, and a handheld remote control allows patients to set their own compression level, which is a common complaint from women about mammograms, Eileen says. Women will get better compression when they set it themselves, while Pristina still produces high-quality images.
“Patients are now able to take control of the experience and what makes them feel the safest and calmest,” Eileen says. “Our aim is to make it much more patient-friendly.”
3-D imaging also provides a more comprehensive exam than traditional 2-D for women in high-risk categories such as increased breast density or a family history of breast cancer.
The Senographe Pristina has all the capabilities Eileen could hope for as a longtime technologist. “I’ve seen the progress over the years from old, plain films to digital mammography and now to 3-D tomographic mammography. I am proud that the future of imaging is here and available to our community,” she says.
Leesburg Regional Medical Center
600 E. Dixie Ave., Leesburg, FL 34748