Every 3 minutes, a woman living in the U.S. is diagnosed with breast cancer. This month, The Outer Banks Hospital advanced the fight against this pervasive disease by installing a new, state-of-the-art digital mammography system.

“We have positioned The Outer Banks Hospital to have technology, like our fixed MRI and our digital mammography, that rivals larger communities,” said hospital president Van Smith. “Technology plays a significant role in demonstrating the quality of care we provide. Additionally, our tests are read by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.”

There are many advantages to a digital system. The images are clear and easy to read, and it offers a better view of the breast, especially near the skin line, chest wall and in women with diverse breast tissue types. The digital image is ready to interpret within 10 seconds – there is no longer a wait for films to be developed to be sure the images are usable. Digital mammograms take as little as half the time of film.

According to a study conducted by the Healthy Carolinians of the Outer Banks, cancer is the leading cause of death in our community. Breast cancer mortality rates are slightly higher here than the state average. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million U.S. women 40 years of age or older have never had a mammogram, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. For more information contact Belita Rock, Director of Imaging at The Outer Banks Hospital at 449-4500.