[Photo: Dr. Juliette The // Photograph by: Tim Stepien]

Positive, new research is out about digital mammography, which is offered at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Delray Medical Center, West Boca Medical Center and Bethesda Memorial Hospital’s women’s health center, as well as other local mammography centers.

The study, published in the scientific journal Radiology, suggests the switch from screen film mammography to digital mammography improves detection of life-threatening cancer without significantly increasing detection of clinically insignificant disease.

Dutch researchers compared film versus digital for almost 2 million screening mammograms. While there was concern in the medical community that digital mammography might result in more detection of what the researchers in this study call “clinically unimportant cancers—cancers that, if left undetected and therefore untreated, would never have surfaced clinically in the person's lifetime,” the concern did not pan out.

In particular, digital mammography seems better able to pick up ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a precursor for invasive breast cancer.

“… I think people in our community are definitely benefited by this study,” says Dr. Juliette The, M.D., a radiologist at the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health and Wellness Institute Center for Breast Care at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

The uses this analogy to explain the differences between screening film and digital mammograms: “Think … of the differences between the old film cameras and the newer digital cameras,” she says. “With digital mammograms, pictures of the breasts are taken electronically, saved electronically and reproduced on a monitor for radiologists to interpret.”

Earlier studies, according to The, show radiologists find more breast cancers with digital mammograms. But this new study helps to quell the criticism that the newer technology finds more cancers that might stay in the breast, without progressing.

“This study actually proves that we’re finding a lot more high-grade DCIS [with digital mammograms versus film] and we’re finding a lot more invasive cancers that are associated with microcalcification,” The says. “So, the cancers that we are finding on digital mammograms are clinically relevant because of their potential to increase and to have an invasive component and potentially metastasize.”

NEWS AROUND TOWN:

Calling all runners!

Time is running out to register for Boca Raton’s only half marathon, the Sun Capital Half Marathon and 5K Run, along beautiful A1A. Registration for the Sunday, November 4, 2012 run closes November 2.

This is more than a run. Each participant gets a t-shirt and there will be more than $1,000 in raffle prizes, including a Bridge Hotel stay and brunch. There’s a free pancake breakfast for all registered runners, and proceeds benefit the Boca Raton Police Athletic League.

For more information, go to http://runnersedgefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/pal2012brochure.pdf, call 561-361-1950 or email tvladimir@aol.com.

Even hospitals have birthdays…

Delray Medical Center celebrated 30 years of business the first week of October.

A little bit of hospital history: Delray Medical Center began in 1982 as a 160-bed hospital, with 700 employees, 195 physicians and two operating rooms. Today, the 42-acre Delray Medical Center campus has 493 beds, 1,600 employees and more than 600 physicians. It boasts a level-one trauma center, which is the highest level trauma center, with specially trained staff and surgeons either on call or at the hospital 24 hours a day. More good news for local patients: Delray Medical Center was one of the few hospitals in the Tri-county area to achieve the American Stroke Association’s Target: Stroke August 2012 Honor Roll. Target: Stroke is a quality improvement initiative by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association aimed at helping hospitals improve the time and rate in which stroke patients get life-saving and quality-of-life-preserving treatments.