The Gibraltar Health Authority has announced the installation of a new mammography system at St Bernard’s Hospital’s Radiology Department.

The purchase of the equipment was partly funded by a generous donation from Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar.

The new system: The Hologic 3 Dimensions, will provide the GHA with cutting edge technology, offering traditional mammography, as well as tomosynthesis, (also known as 3D mammography), and contrast-enhanced digital mammography. Breast tomosynthesis is an advanced form of mammography. Using low-dose X-rays, it entails the X-ray arm sweeping in over the breast, taking a collection of images. This technique has been shown to be very beneficial in the detection of small breast cancers, when compared with conventional mammography, particularly in women with dense breast tissue, which can mask abnormalities in a conventional mammogram.

Contrast-enhanced digital mammography, (CEDM), aims to highlight areas of concern within the breast. The difference between a CEDM and a standard mammogram is the use of contrast medium that is injected into the veins before the mammogram images are taken. The contrast-enhanced images provides the reporting breast radiologist with more detailed information and can be used in certain circumstances as a substitute to an MRI scan. The new system will also aid with mammogram-guided biopsies, facilitating the performance of these in areas, which were not possible with the previous system. Importantly, the new mammography system’s accessories are also more ergonomic, conforming to the natural contours of the breast, thus providing greater comfort to patients and more even compression across the entire breast.

The GHA’s Director of Nursing Services, Ms Sandie Gracia, said: “I would personally like to thank the Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar for their generosity, continued assistance and willingness to work alongside the GHA and for their support to people battling breast cancer in our community.”

Radiology Services Manager, Ms Monica Mir-Dyer, commented: “On behalf of the Radiology department, I would like to sincerely thank Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar for their very kind and generous donation. This new mammography unit will enable our expert radiology team to provide an improved and enhanced service to GHA service users; using the latest technology, and importantly, here at St Bernard’s Hospital.

Chairperson for Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar, Mrs Mercy Posso, stated: "The Charity wishes to thank the GHA for purchasing the mammography unit and for its continued support in enhancing the Breast Screening Programme. We would also like to thank the people of Gibraltar for their generosity. Without their support, the Charity would not be able to make these important contributions."

Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honorable Neil F. Costa MP, added: “It gives me great pride and satisfaction to announce the purchase and installation of the brand new mammography system. Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, on recommendation of our excellent clinicians at the GHA will always invest in the very best when it comes to our health care services. It is imperative that, across all areas, we continuously review and develop our services in order to provide our community with modern, safe and efficient health care. I wish to wholeheartedly thank Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar for their very generous donation. Their diligent efforts in fundraising and increasing awareness on breast cancer, always with the needs of our community at heart, cannot be understated - they are a true inspiration; I am sure our community will agree.