As we close out Breast Cancer Awareness month, "go pink" campaigns have underscored the importance of early detection. At Partners HealthCare, we maintain that the benefits of mammography are substantial—it can catch more cancers at early stages than other screening, and thus save lives. Still, we recognize that though the screening is necessary, it's also frightening and painful for many patients. Our hospitals employ a range of approaches, from the low-tech—such as soothing waiting areas and comfortable gowns—to the high-tech, including a new mammography system called Pristina. Designed by General Electric, the system is now in use at Massachusetts General Hospital. The innovative system, just approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, literally puts the power back into patients' hands during mammography by allowing them to control the level of pressure they feel with a hand-held remote.

The new system will be tested at Mass General to confirm the FDA's finding that it enhances patients' experience without increasing exam times or compromising imaging quality. It's just one of the ways we are working to increase screening compliance by making it more comfortable.

Read more in The Boston Globe.

Photo credit: GE Healthcare

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