North America’s First Approved Digital Mammography Suite Opens at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto

Olya Lechky

Two Toronto hospitals--The Princess Margaret and Mount Sinai--have the distinction of being on the cutting edge in the early detection of breast cancer.

These two pre-eminent institutions in the study, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer are the first centres in North America to have installed full field digital mammography systems. At a recent press conference, experts hailed General Electric's Senographe 2000D as the single biggest breakthrough in mammography during the past 30 years. This claim is based on over 8,000 clinical studies performed on five prototype machines during the past decade. "Digital mammography represents a milestone in the diagnosis of breast disease and it will soon replace conventional mammography all over the world," said Dr. Patrice Brett, professor of radiology at the University of Toronto.

While conventional film mammography has been of great benefit in the screening and diagnosis of breast disease, the technique has always had inherent limitations, said Dr. Karina Bukhanov, head of the division of breast imaging, joint department of breast imaging, University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital. "Digital mammography will bring breast cancer diagnosis into the digital age, enabling all the benefits of modern computer technology and software to be applied to the fight against cancer," she said.

In digital mammography an electronic detector replaces the traditional film screen.