New St. Joe’s breast cancer screening tech should increase capacity, allow new techniques

Dr. Colm Boylan (left) chief of diagnostic imaging at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. and Ray Sakalas, chair of the board of the Hamilton and District Senior Citizens’ Home RAMBYNAS Inc. shwon beside diagnostic imaging equipment with 3D digital breast tomosynthesis. Global News

New state-of-the-art cancer screening equipment, including 3D mammogram technology, is expected to help St. Joe’s hospital in Hamilton, Ont., schedule patients in a more timely fashion.

Proceeds from $1.6-million of a former Lithuanian seniors’ home on Main Street West is what put the technology into local doctors hands, providing a “one-stop-shop” for breast cancer screening and detection.

Dr. Colm Boylan, St. Joe’s chief of diagnostic imaging, says not only should it increase capacity for the treatment but also allow techniques physicians haven’t been able to do with existing devices.

“In particular atomic synthesis and contrast-enhanced mammography … allowing us to successfully biopsy lesions that we see in the breast,” Boylan explained,

“Those are the main things that really give us that advantage … which is really a 3D mammogram.”

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Boylan revealed one in eight Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and the system will make it easier to catch high-risk patients.

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Currently, St. Joes’ two campuses in Hamilton provide some 17,500 mammograms every year.

Boylan says the enhanced mammography can happen in real-time with the technology and is an alternative to doing a biopsy — an extraction of sample cells or tissues for an examination.

“We can reassure the patient that there’s no problem without having to do a biopsy,” he said.

“So that’s really a great game-changer for us, it means that we have to do less biopsies … and getting benign diagnosis.”

A $1.62 million donation generated through the sale of the Hamilton and District Senior Citizens’ Home RAMYBNAS Inc., is how the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation was able to purchase detection devices.

Ray Sakalas, chair of RAMBYNAS, said his group was pleased that the gift was used to purchase the state-of-the-art equipment.

“Our region deserves the best medical care possible, and with the addition of these two pieces of equipment, I’m confident that St Joseph’s Hospital is well on its way to becoming a leading screening center in our region,” Sakalas said.

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