Thursday, October 22, 2009

GE Healthcare Launches Global Initiative to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Digital Mammography

Dubai, UAE; October 22, 2009: With mortality rate among breast cancer patients in the UAE at 44 percent* compared to only 27 percent in more developed countries, there is an increasing focus on the need for greater awareness around early diagnosis. GE Healthcare is highlighting the need for earlier detection and treatment with its global initiative to mark the 10th anniversary of digital mammography, a technology introduced by GE Healthcare in 1999.

Digital mammography replaces the film used in traditional mammography with digital files that can be viewed and stored on computers. The anniversary of digital mammography coincides with the Breast Cancer Awareness Month being celebrated through October, which puts the spotlight on breast cancer in the UAE.

According to the UAE National Cancer Registry, the age range of women developing breast cancer is between ages 35 – 54, at least five years earlier than in the US. Cancer is the third leading cause of death in the UAE after cardiovascular disease and accidents** with breast cancer registering at 22.8 percent of all cancers among females. Latest government statistics show that the mortality rate amongst breast cancer patients in the UAE is 44 percent* compared to only 27 percent in more developed countries highlighting the fact that many of those diagnosed in the UAE are not at a curable stage emphasizing the importance of increased awareness and early detection.

To further enhance awareness on breast cancer, GE Healthcare has created a digital wall of personal stories from those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer, as well as doctors, scientists and fundraisers who work tirelessly against the disease. Visit the wall at

Around 30 patients, survivors, fundraisers and medical professionals from around the world are the foundation of the first phase of the GE Healthcare’s wall. The company hopes that the wall will grow rapidly and become a global platform for survivors, innovators and charities to share their stories, provide additional information on technology milestones and successes and empower others impacted by breast cancer.

“Our initiative shows that breast cancer is indiscriminate. It affects women, and also men, irrespective of their age, nationality and religion. We want people to get involved and share their story. Today, they can do that by clicking the “share” icon on the wall and share their experience, knowledge and hope with others,” said Wendy Harris, Strategic Marketing Leader, Women’s Health at GE Healthcare.

“I hope to see it grow rapidly in size to become a definitive hub for empowering stories; how survivors have fought and overcome the disease, as well as profiling the doctors, and scientists who are working tirelessly – often behind the scenes,” said Harris.

Pioneering the development of advanced breast-imaging technologies
GE Healthcare has been a leader in the field of breast cancer detection through mammography devices since the 1960s. Today there are approximately 17,700 GE Healthcare mammography systems in use worldwide.

In 1999, GE Healthcare was the first company to introduce full-field digital mammography (FFDM). GE Healthcare estimates that since then, more than 40 million examinations have been performed with its diagnostic imaging technologies worldwide. The company has spent 13 years and more than US$100 million developing the full-field digital mammography technology, GE Healthcare Senographe® systems, and continues to invest heavily in new cutting-edge technologies to detect the pathology before the onset.

Approximately 3,700 GE Healthcare Senographe® digital systems are currently being used in the world - more than 90 percent of them still work with their original detector, proving its commitment and reliability towards detecting breast cancer.

In August this year, healthcare technology research organization KLAS ranked GE Healthcare’s Senographe DS as the best digital mammography system on the US market today, based on a survey of healthcare providers.

Through its own research and partnerships with other industry innovators, GE Healthcare is continuing to develop advanced technologies that could help improve detection and reduce unnecessary biopsies in the future, including a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system specifically designed for breast imaging and tomosynthesis - currently under clinical investigation - which generates three-dimensional images.

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