A Mammography System tailored by Women

GE Healthcare, a bio and radiopharmaceutical manufacturer, has presented women around the world with an innovative, all-encompassing experience designed to improve the mammography procedure and deliver overall comfort for patients. They have introduced a 3D mammogram system called ‘Senographe Pristina’, created to give a better breast examination with less anxiety and high-quality imagery.

Constructed by a team of female engineers, radiologists and technologists, Senographe Pristina is meant to tackle the sensitive issue of breast cancer and the fears and assumptions that surround it. Medical experts have heartily embraced such technology. For example, Medical Director of the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health and Wellness Institute in the United States, Kathy Schilling, mentioned;

“Senographe Pristina is different because in the past, the focus was primarily to improve image quality. But today we are seeing an additional focus on how we can make it better for our patient.”

The unfortunate reality is that breast cancer is the most common cancer to affect women in Europe, with an estimated 1 in 8 women developing the disease before the age of 85. The increase in the numbers of breast cancer patient cases could be partly due to the changes in lifestyle habits. This includes; inactive lifestyles, obesity, weight gain, alcoholism and other sociological changes. However, lives can be saved if early detection along with necessary guidelines are practised. Henceforth, it is encouraging to have such technology ready and available for women to use.

The Senographe Pristina operates as a compressional and patient-assisted tool, that is, with the slight help of the technologist, the patient has the choice during the test to set the compression that feels the most comfortable for her. This is possible by using a handheld wireless remote control, called the Pristina Dueta, that adjusts the force to an adequate compression level. This way, women can discard any perceived pain or minimize discomfort, allowing them to play a direct role in the process.

In a 2017 survey conducted with 160 patients in Europe, 4 out of 5 patients who performed their mammogram using Pristina found that their examination was more comfortable. GE Healthcare Program Manager, Erin Brenner, confirmed this finding by saying,

We wanted to design a system that would encourage women to not only make their appointments, but also keep them,”… “That’s why we went to clinicians and patients to ask them what they wanted in a mammogram.”

In conclusion, mammography remains one of the most effective ways for screening breast cancer among women especially in ages 65 and older. With advanced technology like tomosynthesis (3D mammograms) reforming screening performances and enhancing the patient’s experience, like that seen in Senographe Pristina, hope can be restored as women can have the upper advantage in the fight for breast cancer.

 

References:

  1. Senographe Pristina Mammography System, GE
  2. Older women benefit significantly when screened with 3D mammography, April 2019, Science Daily
  3. Breast Cancer Facts, The European Breast Cancer Coalition
  4. By women, for women: new mammography system designed to make mammograms less painful, 2017, GE Healthcare Newsroom