Just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Medical Imaging Department at Los Alamos Medical Center has a new GE Senographe Pristina 3D mammography machine to help diagnose breast cancer.
The machine arrived Oct. 14 and is the only one of its kind in Los Alamos.
“I’m so happy to have this state-of-the-art equipment,” Medical Imaging Director Susan Cazaux said. “One in eight women get a breast cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. This new equipment will help us avoid calling women back for another scan, which is scary when it happens.”
The staff of LAMC gathered Oct. 17 in pink attire to take an aerial photo via drone, standing in the shape of a pink ribbon as a part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Division Chief of Wildland Kelly Sterna of the Los Alamos Fire Department flew the LAFD drone that snapped the shot.
LAMC CEO John Whiteside joined his staff for the picture, but he wanted Cazaux to do the interview with the Los Alamos Daily Post.
“This is Susan’s baby!” he said. “I want the focus to be on her and her department.”
The new machine includes the latest 3D digital mammography technology, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, which delivers superior diagnostic accuracy at the same low dose as a 2D mammography exam, Cazaux explained. The positioning and compression are similar to a traditional 2D mammogram but when the radiologist views the images, they are able to see them in 1mm slices. This helps to eliminate the issue of overlapping dense tissue and lessens the possibility of false positives.
LAMC will continue to offer 2d mammograms for those who want them for reasons of cost or because their particular insurance doesn’t cover 3d mammograms, she said.
Cazaux has headed up LAMC Medical Imaging for three years. She moved to Los Alamos from Arizona to take the job. Cazaux has a diverse background that includes an MBA as well as radiology technician credentials.
“Women’s health is my passion,” Cazaux said. “My mother had breast cancer. In this field, I feel like I’m making a difference.”
The “business side of radiology” is a perfect fit for someone with her skills, she said.
LAMC will host an Open House Thursday, Oct. 29 to provide an opportunity for the public to see the new equipment and ask questions, Cazaux said.
“We’re anxious for the community to experience our new equipment,” she said.
Call LAMC at 505.661.9211 to schedule a mammogram.