Screening/Diagnostic Services > Digital Mammography

Nyack Hospital offers 100% digital mammography, the gold standard for early detection of breast cancer.  Digital mammography has revolutionized the practice of mammography through its superior and lower dose and improved image quality mammograms. 

You can feel confident in knowing that our mammograms are read by Board-Certified radiologists specializing in mammography, many of whom are also fellowship-trained in breast imaging.

Digital versus Analog Mammography: The Facts

Why digital imaging?
For many years, the traditional film-screen mammography systems have been considered the gold standard of care for mammography screening.  More recently, full-field digital mammography is playing and important role and is rapidly surpassing film-screen as the preferred screening tool in the early detection of breast cancer.  While both are diagnostic tools that use x-rays to produce an image of the breast, there are distinct differences between the two technologies.

Digital mammography enables faster examinations.  Digital images are processed electronically in real-time, meaning the digital mammographic images are displayed in a matter of seconds.  Film-screen mammography systems require the use of film and a chemical processor to produce the mammographic image.  This physical process takes several minutes to complete and produces a film-based mammogram.  As a result of digital mammography, patients experience faster examination times.  

Digital images can be stored and shared electronically.  Digital images are acquired in an electronic format and can be sent easily across networks.  Once the digital image reaches the display device, it can be instantly reviewed.  Multiple copies of digital images can be produced without degrading the original integrity of the mammographic detail; the digital mammogram can be shared and reviewed simultaneously in multiple locations if required.

Digital mammography has a lower technical recall rate than film-screen.  Utilizing digital technology has resulted in approximately 20 percent fewer technical recalls, when compared to film-screen imaging.  The benefits of having significantly fewer false positive recalls include less repeat films, less patient anxiety and better overall patient care. 

Benefits of digital mammography when screening for breast cancer.  Studies have demonstrated, when compared to digital mammography, film-screen mammography has limitations in some patient populations.  According to the investigation led by Dr. Etta D. Pisano for the American College of Radiology Imaging Network’s (ACRIN) Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST), “We believe the significant improvement in accuracy in specific subgroups of women justifies the use of digital mammography in these groups.  The accuracy of digital was significantly higher than film-screen in three specific subsets of patients.  Those three included women under the age of 50, women with heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breasts, and women who are pre- or peri-menopausal.”  Two of the three subgroups of women can easily identify themselves based on their age and menopausal status.  Women over 50 and post-menopausal could still have dense breasts.  To be certain, their previous mammogram reports or images will have to be reviewed.  In DMIST, approximately 22 percent of post-menopausal women over 50 had dense breasts.  The implication one in five patients who do not fall within the previous mentioned subgroups actually fall within the third subgroup and should seek digital mammography.”

According to Dr. Siegel-Goldman, “Two additional significant benefits of digital mammography include lower radiation dose to the patient and improved visualization of the posterior breast tissue.”

To make an appointment for a mammogram, please call 845.348.8551.