YOUR HEALTH: Giving women control of mammograms

ORLANDO, Florida – Ask any woman, it's the medical examination they'd like to avoid.

"It's uncomfortable."

"Just kinda hurts."

But these women shouldn't miss their annual mammogram.

But the mammogram is getting a makeover. at least at Florida Hospital.

"This equipment enables us to take a tremendous leap forward," explained Dr. David Rippe.

NEW MAMMOGRAPHY SYSTEM:   In late 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the first 2D digital mammography system that allows patients to increase or decrease the amount of compression applied to their own breast before the mammogram x-ray is taken.   "Regular mammograms are an important tool in detecting breast cancer," said Dr. Alberto Gutierrez, director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.   "However, some patients may experience anxiety or stress about the discomfort from the compression during the mammogram.

Dr. Rippe says the patients can now control the compression of the breast with this little clicker called the "Duetta".

"It enables the patient to have a sense of control."

Christine Parsell tested it out.

"The compression is a lot slower. It doesn't feel like the equipment is kinda coming down hard on your breasts."

Dr. Rippe says so far this has led to better images in most cases.

"We see significantly better compressions when a patient is made part of the process."

None are in Iowa or Illinois yet but there is a mobile lab that arrives at events nationwide.

And better compressions can lead to better detection.

"This allows some of the tissue to be separated out so we see through uh the tissue better."

Now with this new technology doctors are hoping more women put mammograms on their priority list.

Pristina Duetta is the full name of the new mammogram equipment.

Dr. Rippe says it is covered by insurance but the closest machine is in the Kansas City area.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.

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