One of the keys to stopping cancer is detecting the problem as early as possible.
However some tests, including mammograms, may not be a pleasant experience and it takes time to see a doctor.
On Friday Somerset Hospital started using a new Selenia Dimensions digital mammography unit. The digital images are more clear than film units. The technicians now have a better way to enlarge the tests to determine if a woman has the start of a cancerous tumor.
The new unit will reduce the number of repeat tests, create a better patient archiving system for doctors to review and provide a more comfortable station for women to receive the test.
With breast cancer being the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women, the community has rallied together to get this equipment for Somerset.
Somerset Hospital Auxiliary has pledged $400,000 in the next six years for the project. The hospital has also received the pledge of a $70,000 grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Pittsburgh. The entire venture will cost about $500,000.
The technology is not new to the area as Windber Medical Center also has a similar system.
The new unit is a success story for the hospital and the community. In the future, women will have more accurate tests performed locally and that should improve the cancer survival rate.