Free mammogram info

Free mammogram info
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Indianapolis - The Little Red Door Cancer Agency and St. Vincent's Mobile Mammography Unit will offer free mammograms next month to qualifying low-income or uninsured women. You must pre-register no later than March 30th.

You can call 925-5595, extension 321. The mammograms will be offered next month month at the People's Health Center on East 10th Street.

Digital mammography

For some women, reading their mammograms can be a challenge because they have dense breasts. It's tissue that is difficult to see through, and it's kind of a double whammy because it may increase a woman's risk of breast cancer and make it hard to find. But digital mammography is making things clearer.

Dr. Jean Warner is the medical director of the Women's Imaging Center at Mercy Medical Center. It's her job to find breast cancer on mammograms. She says it's definitely harder to see in a dense breast.

"This white area on the mammogram is all the fibroglandular tissue in the patient's breast. And the dark area is the fatty tissue. So you can imagine if you have a lot of fat in your breast, it would all look dark. And cancer tends to show up white on a mammogram. So if cancer is white, and its sitting in this area of white tissue, its harder to detect," she explained.

Older film mammograms made it even tougher to see through dense tissue.

"You had that one moment in time, that one captured image that you had to look at and try and make a determination. Digital mammography has helped with that, because we're able to manipulate the image after its taken," said Warner. "We can blow up the image like this, and even magnify it more."

Since women with dense breasts may be more likely to have breast cancer, it's important to see what's going on. The digital image is a much sharper image.

Warner explains what she looks for: "Are there any areas where the tissue looks distorted, or it looks like there's a nodule or a mass hiding in there?"