The difference between digital and analog mammograms is obvious. Digital mammograms offer a clearer image.
"Breast cancer is a curable disease," said general surgeon, Dr. Frank Tucker of Riley Hospital. "In order to cure it, you have to diagnose it early."
And to diagnose breast cancer early, women must conduct monthly self breast exams and have regular mammograms.
"These are analog pictures behind me and you can't change the window, contrast, or brightness on in real time," said interventional radiologist, Dr. John Blackwell. "So once you take that picture, that's what you have to read off of."
You can make digital images larger, or even zoom in to a specific area.
According to Dr. Blackwell, research shows that the digital images are comparable to analog images for all women, and even more accurate than analog for women who are under fifty, women with dense breast tissue, and women who are perimenopausal.
"As a patient, you are in charge of your health care and you should be provided with the information as far as what kind of test you are getting," said Blackwell.
Tucker has practiced in the Meridian area for forty years and has seen the technology change through the years.
When I first started practicing, we just diagnosed breast cancer by feeling a lump," said Tucker. "And our cure rate was not nearly what it is now."
On the eleventh day of each month, Riley Hospital and Newscenter 11 remind you to conduct your self breast exam and to remind your friends and family to do the same.