London: The King Edward VII hospital has become the first private medical centre to offer patient’s state-of-the-art low dose radiation digital mammography for the detection of breast cancer.
The Swedish-made Sectra scanner allowed the highest resolution breast scan at the lowest dose or radiation, compared to any other system currently in use.
The Sectra Microdose Digital X-ray system uses a digital capturing system which also means very high resolution images (24.96 megapixels) which can detect the smallest micro-calcifications in the breast. The radiation dose which the patient receives during the scan is 20% of that emmited by conventional machines.
The Sectra has already been subjected to a three-year clinical trial within the NHS, at the Coventry Breast Screening Unit at the Coventry and Warwick Hospital
According to doctors the benefits of even a conventional mammogramme outweigh the risks in detection of breast cancer. Women over the age of 50 are advised to have a scan every three years.
In the UK, experts estimate that 1 in every 14,000 women may suffer radiation induced breast cancer – that is approximately eight women each year.
But the low dose Sectra machine means that women can have more frequent scans so that any disease can be caught at an earlier stage.
The hospital’s Imaging Department is also able to give patients a copy of their scan on a CD after their mammogram.