515 Main Street, Olean, New York 14760
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Olean General Hospital


Digital Mammography is Now Available at Olean General Hospital

Posted on: 02/27/2009

Olean General Hospital is pleased to announce that the latest in digital mammography technology is now available. With the installation of Fuji’s Computed Radiography for Mammography (FCRm) system, Olean General is now one of the only facilities in the area to offer this digital mammography capability.

"Screening mammography is still recognized as the most effective tool available for the early detection of breast cancer," said Alexandra Wesley, M.D., chief of radiology for Olean General. "And according to a recent landmark study, digital mammography offers significant benefits to certain groups of women. We’re proud to be able to provide women in our community with the most advanced screening technology available to identify cancers early when they are most treatable."

Digital mammography, a mammogram that uses new detection technologies and computers instead of film, was found in a landmark clinical study of more than 42,000 women to be better than film-screen mammography in detecting breast cancer in three groups: women under 50, pre- and peri-menopausal women, and women with dense breasts. Digital mammograms are 15 percent more accurate among women under age 50 or not yet in menopause, and 11 percent more accurate among women with dense breasts.

From the patient’s perspective, the procedure for a digital mammogram is the same as for a conventional film mammogram; however, since the images are available almost immediately and no film development time is necessary, the wait time for the patient is less.

Furthermore, Olean General also uses Picture Archiving and Communication System, which enables the digital mammograms to be electronically viewed, transmitted and stored. PACS enables the interpreting physician to use digital tools to electronically enhance and magnify the images, and to adjust the contrast to better examine any suspicious areas. This reduces the need for the patient to be called back for additional exposures. The PACS also facilitates long-distance consultations with other specialists since the digital images can be readily transmitted to other facilities. They can also readily be transferred to a CD if a patient needs to take them to another facility.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women between the ages of 15 and 54, and the second cause of cancer death in women 55 to 74. Fortunately, 96 percent of women who find and treat breast cancer early will be cancer-free after five years. A breast exam by a doctor should also be part of a periodic health exam every year for women 40 and above.


Olean General Hospital, founded in 1898, is a 186 bed community hospital in Olean, New York providing healthcare to a service area of approximately 100,000 residents.  The hospital provides a comprehensive array of programs and services.  Olean General Hospital has been designated a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals Performance Improvement Leader. For more information, visit the Olean General Hospital website at or call 716-375-6114.

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