February 14th, 2005

Great River Medical Center is using a new product that eases the discomfort many women feel when they have mammograms. The foam cushion provides a softer and warmer mammogram.

“The discomfort from compression during the procedure is widely known to be a reason that some women don’t get regular screenings,” said Steven Davis, M.D., a radiologist at Great River Medical Center. “Besides compression, the cold surfaces and hard edges of the mammography device may increase the discomfort. The breast cushion answers these complaints. When women are more relaxed during the exam, it makes it even easier for our mammography technologists to get the best image possible.”

Clinical studies in the United States and Sweden found that approximately 70 percent of patients experienced significant reduction in pain when the foam cushion was used. It is “invisible” to X-rays.

The American Cancer Society reports women can greatly reduce their risk of death from breast cancer if they have regular mammograms. With the introduction of the cushion, Great River Medical Center radiologists hope to increase the number of area women who follow recommendations for regular screenings. The society and the American College of Radiology recommend that women 40 and older have mammograms every year.