Mammograms Get Double Checked at St. Martin Hospital


Computer-aided detection (CAD) is a recent advance in the field of breast imaging and is designed to improve radiologists’ ability to find even the smallest breast cancers at their earliest stages. At St. Martin Hospital, we are capable of offering CAD services to all of our patients.

Using sophisticated algorithms based on thousands of previous cases of breast cancer, CAD software identifies areas that appear suspicious on the mammogram that might call for further examination.

How do we use CAD? A patient will undergo a digital mammogram here at St. Martin Hospital. No additional steps are required for patients at this point. A radiologist will review the mammogram before applying CAD analysis to make a preliminary interpretation of it.

After the initial review is done, the CAD software is applied to the mammogram. Areas of potential concern are highlighted, and the radiologist re-examines them. Because CAD is very sensitive and can detect very subtle abnormalities, it has proven to be particularly useful in mammography exams involving dense breast tissue, which is often present in pre-menopausal women.

With the CAD technology, the radiologist still reviews all aspects of the mammogram and makes the final interpretation. CAD cannot diagnose. It simply serves as a highly valuable double check. As has always been the case, the most important thing is not the technology, but the person reading the results.

When do we use CAD? All mammogram patients at the St. Martin Hospital Breast Imaging Center have their mammogram reviewed by CAD technology. No referrals are required to receive a screening mammogram,. Patient eligibility depends on various factors, including age, financial status and insurance coverage. All women 40 and older are encouraged to be tested through mammograms annually and to self-exam at least once a month. Early detection is critical to preventing and surviving breast cancer.

For more information about CAD, mammograms, free screenings or any other imaging services available at St. Martin Hospital, call (337) 332-2178.

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