Cheshire Medical Center invests in advanced breast imaging technology and improved patient experience

Image of Hologic 3D mammography system
Cheshire Medical Center has acquired a new 3D mammography system, and upgraded its existing mammogram machine, with the latest in 3D imaging technology.

These technological upgrades will increase our ability to detect signs of cancer earlier, improving patient prognosis, and serve more patients each year.

Joseph L. Perras, MD

Cheshire Medical Center, a Dartmouth Health member, has acquired a second three-dimensional mammography system by Hologic, and upgraded its existing mammography machine with the latest 3D high-resolution detector technology and imaging software, augmented by artificial intelligence, replacing two-dimensional computer-aided detection software. The new device, which was deployed in Cheshire’s Breast Care Center on March 20, enhances the hospital’s ability to detect breast cancer early, reduces false positives, improves patient experience, provides a critical redundancy for more streamlined scheduling and enables the Breast Care Center to significantly increase the number of mammograms it can perform annually, expanding patient access.

“Cheshire is committed to ensuring everyone in the rural Monadnock region has access to routine breast cancer screenings. These technological upgrades will increase our ability to detect signs of cancer earlier, improving patient prognosis, and serve more patients each year,” said Cheshire CEO and president Joseph L. Perras, MD. “I would like to thank the Cheshire Health Foundation, generous donors and the volunteers who worked hard to fundraise for this critical equipment. This new mammography system and the excellent care provided in Cheshire’s Breast Care Center enables world class care close to home.”

Three-dimensional mammography produces sharper images with finer details, such as subtle lesions and fine calcifications, detects 20% to 65% more invasive breast cancer compared to 2D imaging technology and reduces the need for recall appointments by approximately 40%.

“The earlier we are able to detect signs of cancer, the more treatment options are available for patients,” said Cheshire Mammography/Breast Care Coordinator Supervisor Meloney A. Hayward, RT(R), (M)ARRT.  “Having access to this advanced 3D breast imaging systems is a significant benefit for our community. Not only are we able to have fewer false positives, we are able to detect cancers much earlier with better outcomes.”

Cheshire’s Breast Care Center currently performs approximately 8,000 mammogram exams annually. The addition of a new 3D mammography system will allow the center to perform more than 2,000 additional exams, meeting the current and growing healthcare needs of the community.

The new device and upgrades to the existing machine were paid for with the support of Cheshire Health Foundation’s significant fundraising efforts, which raised more than $788,000 through the generosity of over 1,000 community members, employees, businesses and foundations in 2023.

The Breast Care Center is an American College of Radiology (ACR) accredited facility, as well as a Designated Comprehensive Breast Imaging Center through the ACR and a Surgical Quality Partner of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). It is also accredited through the National Accreditation for Breast Cancers (NAPBC), American College of Surgeons and is a certified mammography facility under the U.S. Mammography Quality and Standards Act (MQSA).

About Cheshire Medical Center

Cheshire Medical Center (Cheshire) is a Dartmouth Health member providing the communities in the Greater Monadnock Region a continuum of care spanning primary care and specialty medicine, to surgical services and acute inpatient care. For more than 130 years, Cheshire has been a key contributor to the health and vitality of the Monadnock Region. As a not-for-profit community medical center, Cheshire is deeply committed to delivering excellent care in a safe and welcoming environment. Cheshire is dedicated to being a great neighbor and serves as an integral community resource. Cheshire is the area's largest healthcare provider and leading employer. Along with the services delivered on their Keene campus and satellite locations, the Medical Center partners with local organizations to provide vital services and programs throughout the region. To learn more, call 603-354-5400 or visit the Cheshire Medical Center website.

About Dartmouth Health

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 56 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, which includes Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only children’s hospital, and multiple clinic locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Bennington and Windsor, VT; Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.