Give Local: Bluewater Health Replacing Aging Mammography Equipment

Bluewater Health’s two mammography machines are reaching end of life and the organization is appealing to the Sarnia-Lambton community for help in purchasing replacements. Bluewater Health Foundation’s fundraising goal for the new machines is $1.1 million.

The funds raised at its annual gala on October 11, and from this year’s Dream Home Lottery will go toward purchasing this new equipment. While government funding supports the operations and administration of hospitals, it is donations from the community that fund critical equipment purchases. These new machines will keep Bluewater Health on the cutting edge of early detection and accurate diagnosis.

The Mammography Department at Bluewater Health provides over 12,000 mammograms a year in Sarnia-Lambton and surrounding counties. Hardworking technicians and volunteers aim to create an environment where patients feel as comfortable as possible.

Part of creating this environment includes ensuring that equipment is current and in good working order to provide accurate diagnosis. Such as is for all technology, new innovation provides enhanced features and improved performance. A new innovation in mammography equipment is digital tomosynthesis. Tomosynthesis (pronounced toh-moh-SIN-thah-sis) produces a 3D image of the breast, and can be used as a follow up to a standard mammogram in challenging cases when the breast tissue is very dense or there is an area of concern. Since its development, this technology has been utilized and relied upon in such organizations as the Mayo Clinic.

Another innovation in mammography equipment is contrast enhanced imaging. A dye injection prior to the mammogram helps provide better visualization of breast lesions by targeting areas where there is increased blood supply.

The new mammography machines, one of which will be equipped with tomosynthesis and contrast enhanced imaging, will be more ergonomically friendly and provide a more comfortable experience for patients during tests. The advanced technology of the two new mammography machines will allow Bluewater Health to help patients detect breast cancer early, and begin life-saving treatment as soon as possible.

“It’s absolutely critical to have the most state-of-the-art mammography equipment right here in our community,” says Patti Jones, who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer at Bluewater Health. “It saved my life! I tell everyone I know to go to Bluewater Health, and to get regular mammograms.”