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Pittsfield Hospital First to Use New Digital Mammogram Equipment 

Catherine Pegram

A hospital in Pittsfield is on its way to saving even more lives, thanks to new equipment that can help better detect breast cancer.The Women’s Health Center at Sebasticook Valley Hospital is actually the first hospital in the nation to use the digital technology, too.Sandi Delano, the director of the center, says the Digital Now H-D machine turns old mammogram films into new computer images.”So all of the images go from film to an image on a computer and then the radiologist can read them much easier, with a lot more clarity.”Bob Pierce, who sells the equipment, says that can help medical staff track trends in patients, too. “Radiologists will find it easier to compare a digital film to another digital film, rather than comparing a film screen which may be on a view box mammogram to what they’ve just taken today, this year’s exam being a digital version.” The Health Center recently bought the film digitizer, along with a new mammogram machine and bone density scan. Delano says the timing of the purchase makes the Pittsfield facility the first in the country to put the digitizer to use.”Calcifications can be detected much sooner, breast cancer can be detected much sooner and so that will help our women in the community be able to detect cancers much sooner.”The equipment’s is not limited to women, either.”Men also get breast cancer and its on the rise. So it’s also very important for men to do the self breast exams and also see their providers and come in and have their mammograms, too.”Delano says she hopes the new technology translates into earlier, easier and more accurate breast cancer detection – all key components to beating the deadly disease. The hospital is paying for the digital mammography equipment through fundraisers and a capital campaign that starts this fall. Already, a golf tournament last month collected more than $55,000 dollars.