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2004 Press Releases
Morton Plant Facilities Offer Computer-Aided Detection for All Mammograms

CLEARWATER, Fla. (March 17, 2004)---In the past, computer-aided detection (CAD) technology for mammograms was only available when breast cancer was suspected. Now CAD is offered at several Morton Plant facilities for both annual screening and diagnostic mammograms as a first line of defense in early breast cancer detection. An estimated 40,000 mammogram examinations a year are performed at Morton Plant facilities and CAD will be used to check all screening mammograms with a computerized second look.

Morton Plant is the only community-based hospital system in the area to provide CAD for screening mammograms due to its dedication to invest in cutting edge technology to help women fight breast cancer. CAD is currently offered at Bardmoor Outpatient and Surgery Center, Carlisle Imaging Center and Trinity Outpatient Center for screening mammograms, and the Susan Cheek Needler Breast Center for diagnostic mammograms.

"Since the Susan Cheek Needler Breast Center opened two years ago, CAD mammograms have been available for women who need to be evaluated further when there is a suspicion of breast cancer," said Dr. Barbara Bourland, medical director of the Susan Cheek Needler Breast Center and board certified radiologist. "But now all mammograms?from annual screening mammograms to diagnostic mammograms?will receive the benefit that previously was only available for women who needed a diagnostic work-up."

When a doctor suspects that a woman might have breast cancer, she needs to have a full evaluation. Therefore a diagnostic work-up could include a variety of different mammograms with varying views and magnifications that all are reviewed with CAD.

"Computer-aided detection is the most important development in breast cancer diagnosis since mammograms," said Dr. Bourland. "The technology acts as a second pair of eyes and makes mammogram evaluations more accurate."

Used in conjunction with film-based mammograms, CAD digitizes the image much like a photo scanned into a computer. A CAD reading of mammogram aids the radiologist in a way similar to a PC spellchecker by automatically highlighting suspicious areas on mammograms. Most areas marked by the CAD are determined to be non-suspicious upon the radiologist's review but some studies show that using CAD could result in 23.4 percent more cancers detected early.

"A radiologist first typically evaluates the mammogram and then activates the CAD program to check if any areas have been highlighted for additional review," explained Dr. Bourland. "The combination of human and computer reviews enhances the quality of care for patients and improves the early detection of breast cancer."

This year, approximately 215,990 women in United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer with an estimated 13,350 newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer in Florida and 2,480 expected deaths.

Bardmoor Outpatient and Surgery Center is located at 8787 Bryan Dairy Road in Largo, Fla.; Carlisle Imaging Center at 1240 S. Ft. Harrison Avenue in Clearwater, Fla.; Susan Cheek Needler Breast Center at 303 Pinellas Street in Clearwater, Fla.; and Trinity Outpatient Center at 2102 Trinity Oaks Boulevard in New Port Richey, Fla.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care.

In 2001, Morton Plant Hospital joined forces with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., 727-462-7000.

Contact: Phoebe Ochman/Beth Hardy

Morton Plant News Bureau

727 / 461-8538 Phone

727 / 468-7586 Pager