Mount St. Mary’s sent me a reminder when I missed my appointment for a mammogram. They probably saved my life!
Shelly Ramsayer of Lewiston, like most women in their 40’s, has a busy schedule. So when she couldn’t make the appointment for her regular mammogram, she didn’t think much of it.
Then, in the mail, came a reminder post card from Mount St. Mary’s that she had missed her appointment.
This time, she went and a small lump was found. Because of the early detection, it was “Stage 0” but treatment was needed. She was immediately directed to her Primary Care Physician and a coordinated process began to treat her including a lumpectomy at Catholic Health’s Sister’s Hospital.
History of the Breast Care Center
In 2009, the community rallied around Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in raising nearly $1.4 million to establish the Breast Health Center in the Imaging Center on the hospital campus. At the direction of our team of Radiologists and staff, to meet the needs of the patients we serve, those funds were used to purchase the latest breast imaging technology including digital mammography (we were the first hospital to adopt this practice in Niagara County), MRI Breast Coil, and other diagnostic equipment. The success of the initiative is proven by the fact that in FY2015, Mount St. Mary’s provided more than 11,000 digital mammograms.
It is demonstrated that our investment in Digital Mammography has been a major advancement for our community. Studies have shown that digital technology is significantly better than standard mammography in women who are younger than 50 years, those with dense breast tissue, and women who were premenopausal and perimenopausal. The urgency of early detection in this group of women cannot be overstated since they traditionally have more aggressive cancers than older women with less dense breasts. Imaging examinations with digital equipment are 50% faster than with standard equipment and do not require time-consuming processing of films. Technology, however, has advanced and currently residents of our primary service area in Niagara County must travel outside of the community for the next level of advanced mammography, “3D Imaging,” also known as “3D Tomosynthesis.” The addition of Breast Tomosynthesis technology (3D) is truly state-of-the-art equipment that will take our diagnostic program to the next level. Most breast lumps are benign, but if diagnosed with breast cancer, our multidisciplinary team is able to provide expert care with extraordinary sensitivity Healthcare providers know that convenience and accessibility are necessary for patients. Our goal is to continue to be a comprehensive provider of Breast Care for all of Niagara County.