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New technology highlight of breast cancer awareness party

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community Two Harbors, 55616

Two Harbors Minnesota 109 Waterfront Dr. 55616

The Lake View Memorial Clinic will show off some new breast cancer detection technology with a breast cancer awareness party for 10 Lake County women.

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More than 2,000 mailers were sent out to women age 40 and older in Lake County. If they had not had a mammogram done within the past year, they were eligible to sign up for a drawing. Ten individuals will be selected to attend the "Get Your Pink on Party" Oct. 22. It will be a day of pampering for the winners: breakfast, massages, and prizes are in store, not to mention a mammogram using Lake View's new technology.

New equipment installed in January has allowed the clinic to streamline its mammogram process. Now, mammograms are done with digital equipment. In the past, the clinic used an analog machine and developed film that would be read by a radiologist. Now, while the patient is still in the examining room, a technician can look at the mammogram images instantly.

The new technology allows for more detailed images of breast tissue, which has led to fewer false alarms when it comes to detecting breast cancer. Terri McDannold, director of radiology at the clinic, says because the digital images are so detailed, radiologists are able to tell whether or not an unusual mass in the breast tissue is a tumor or not, whereas in the past many women were sent on for further screening because film was harder to read.

The digital equipment also allows for a faster screening process. Because the images are digital, results get back a lot quicker than they have in the past. A formal reading can now be done by a radiologist and a report done within one to two days. Before, the film had to be processed and a report usually took up to four days to complete.

In addition to the digital technology, the clinic now uses mammopads, a pink cushion that is placed under a patient's breast to help make the procedure more comfortable.

While the new equipment is something that will be showcased at the party, the real focus of the event is to get women comfortable with getting yearly mammograms. "Our target population is women over 40 years of age who have never had a mammogram, or women who haven't had one in a few years," McDannold said.

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