Return home

Mohawk Glen Radiology uses the latest technology to combat breast cancer

Nicole A. Hawley
Staff writer
email / twitter
Posted 10/4/22

Known as a place where patients become more like family, Mohawk Glen Radiology at 91 Perimeter Road has a 24-year history of combining compassionate care with the latest technology.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Mohawk Glen Radiology uses the latest technology to combat breast cancer

Posted

ROME — Known as a place where patients become more like family, Mohawk Glen Radiology at 91 Perimeter Road has a 24-year history of combining compassionate care with the latest technology to help women detect, fight and overcome breast cancer in the Rome area.

Patient services include radiology, ultrasound, mammography, computed tomography/CAT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), bone density and X-rays.

Mohawk Glen’s mammography has been enhanced through 3D technology. The 2D imaging process takes images from several angles and the 3D process, known as hologic imaging, saves time and radiation exposure by having the patient remain in one position.

The process also helps take accurate images of the different types of breast tissue. Breasts contain three types of tissue: glandular, fibrous and fat. Dense breasts contain heavy concentrations of glandular and fibrous tissue and less fatty tissue. The four main types of breasts — A, B, C, and D — are classified depending on their tissue composition.

Mohawk Glen’s certified mammography department is staffed by specially-trained technologists, including mammography technicians Carolyn Smith, Tammy Amo and Katie Tarkowski.

Smith, who is soon retiring, has been a technician at Mohawk Glen Radiology for 23 years and said she has witnessed just how much 3D digital technology has evolved in the last two decades.

Before digital technology, “You had your work cut out for you, taking film into the dark room,” said Smith, referencing old film technology. Much like in photo photography, film had to be processed and developed like photographs in a dark room, which was difficult and time-consuming, the technician added.

She also explained how breast density is classified as either A, B, C, or D — A as fatty; B as scattered; C as dense; and D as extremely dense.

With old film technology, “If the chemicals for developing the film were off, it would make the mammogram dark and difficult to view, especially if a woman had dense tissue,” Smith said.

And because 2D and 3D technology enables images to be taken from a number of different angles, doctors can actually view them during a patient’s visit, drastically reducing the amount of time it would take for them to get their results.

If anything abnormal is detected in the mammogram, patients will be contacted and it may be recommended that they schedule an ultrasound or biopsy, depending on the diagnosis, Smith explained. If a biopsy is recommended, a patient will speak with the physician who will explain the reasons for the biopsy, and the patient will be offered the choice of receiving services in Rome, Utica or Syracuse. That’s why it’s extremely important that women get their mammogram every year.

“You should not skip your mammograms,” Smith advised. “You should go yearly because the doctors are looking for subtle changes in the breast tissue from year-to-year,” which helps them potentially detect cancer early.

And if a patient is recommended for an ultrasound or biopsy, “I check back with them every 30 days to make sure they don’t fall through the cracks,” Smith said.

Mohawk Glen Radiology went completely with 3D imaging, 2D and 2D tomography about 5-6 years ago. The tomography imaging is like taking “slices” of the breast so physicians can view the different layers of tissue separately.

With digital imaging, “The pictures come out perfect every time,” Smith said. “There’s no reason to do them over again unless the patient is positioned wrong.”

After spending 23 years at Mohawk Glen, Smith said it will be the “people” she misses the most, from patients to co-workers.

“I love what I do, and that’s because I get to work with great co-workers and doctors, who are just wonderful here,” she said. “And the ladies who come in are like your family — I ask them how their kids are and they do the same for me. It’s a very personable office where you get to build relationships, and I am very fortunate to have worked here.”

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here