FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, MINORITY LEADER ODDO AND STATEN ISLAND UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL UNVEIL DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY MACHINE
$500,000 Digital Mammography Machine Will Speed Mammography at Staten Island Breast Imaging Center
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Minority Leader James S. Oddo and Officials of Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) today unveiled a new state-of-the-art digital mammography machine at the Staten Island Breast Imaging Center. Councilmember Oddo and SIUH secured the funding for the $500,000 machine. The Senographe 2000D, made by GE Medical Systems, will be operational tomorrow. The new mammography system produces digital breast images through computerization rather than traditional X-ray film, substantially alleviating delays in producing results.
"Breast cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases, but caught early it can be treated and cured," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Early detection is crucial and digital mammography dramatically speeds up the screening process, cuts waiting times and saves lives. Richmond County incidence of breast cancer is 12% higher than the rest of the City and the women of Staten Island deserve the best treatment and preventive medicine possible."
"Clearly when an issue of this magnitude impacts the health of thousands of women it is incumbent upon us in government to act," said Minority Leader Oddo. "I am proud to have been able to form a partnership with Staten Island University Hospital in securing the funds necessary to insure that the women of this borough receive the valuable life-saving services in as timely a fashion as possible."
Digital Mammography allows images to be read within ten seconds. Women no longer have to wait while the films are developed to be sure the images are usable, which means the test can take as little as half the time of a film/screen mammogram. With this potential for increased throughput, overall wait times for screening mammography will decrease. Additionally, the radiologist can digitally enhance and manipulate images, decreasing the number of retakes.
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has identified communities and segments of the City's population that are most prone to breast cancer. The Department is planning a public awareness campaign and outreach efforts to target these communities.
"These are distinct advantages for our patients and our staff," said Carolyn Raia, M.D., Medical Director of the Breast Imaging Center. "It puts us on a whole new level. With the purchase of the digital system, we've maximized our potential, and stand ready to grow along with the most promising new technologies. Our patients will be reaping great benefits."
Ed Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Liz Harris (Minority Leader Oddo) (212) 788-6989