Women in the region will soon have a clearer picture to aid in early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases.
The Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) Health Foundation has reached its goal of raising funds to replace its 11-year-old film mammography machine with a digital mammography with stereotactic capabilities.
Since May 2011, the health foundation has received widespread support for its campaign, and had hoped to reach its $950,000 goal by May of this year. However, the campaign reached the finish line two months earlier.
“As often happens with technology, the price has gone down” said Lisa Pasin, director of development at the KBRH hospital foundation.
“The new technology will now cost $790,000 which is why we can wrap up the campaign early.”
Last week, the foundation received a $20,000 contribution from the Royal Bank of Canada foundation and $5,000 from the Kootenay Robusters, which pushed the campaign to its goal sooner than projected explained Pasin.
A mammography exam is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women, a process that is expedited with digital equipment.
Securing the state-of-the-art machine will benefit patients in local communities because this advancement in diagnostic imagining means fewer invasive procedures to confirm diagnosis of breast cancer and less travel outside the area for patients and their families to confirm a diagnosis of breast cancer, said Pasin.
She explained that positive outcomes can also be expected post procedure, and include: a faster recovery, with less post surgical complications; better cosmetic results with no stitches and less scarring.
As the biopsy will be done in the mammography room, and not the operating room (OR), reduced wait lists for breast biopsies and other surgical procedures is another bonus of the new digital imaging techniques.
“OR wait lists at KBRH should be reduced as surgical time will no longer be spent on diagnostic breast biopsies,” she added.
Stereotactic biopsy capabilities mean that a patient may be able to have a needle biopsy instead of invasive surgery to diagnose a breast lump.
“With the digital technique, image manipulation will minimize the recall rate and improve diagnostic quality with a lower radiation dose,” said Elsabe Steenkamp, director of radiology at KBRH.
“Patients can have mammmographic guided biopsy without the need for surgery or anesthesia on an out-patient basis.”
Additionally, digital mammography produces high-resolution images that can be sent electronically to another facility when a second opinion is needed from other radiologists, surgeons or oncologists.
“Specialists’ opinions are now only a click away,” said Pasin.
“When a second opinion is required, the images can be sent electronically and instantly.”
Formerly called the Trail Regional Hospital Foundation, since 1988 the Health Foundation has raised over $10.6 million to advance health care in the Kootenay Boundary.
The Foundation’s revenue is generated through donations from private and corporate donors.
Funding priorities include raising endowed gifts and annual funds to support health care equipment needs, staff education, and special initiative to enhance health care through the Trail hospital and other Kootenay Boundary health care facilities.
The next campaign focus will be announced by the foundation in March.
Donations can be made onlinekbrhhealthfoundation.ca over the phone (364-3495) or by mail (KBRH Health Foundations, 1200 Hospital Bench, Trail, B.C. V1R 4M1)