Mon - Fri : 8:00AM - 5:00PM | 6229 Vance Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421


Effective Detection

Of the many issues within women’s healthcare, breast health is one of the most prevalent topics. There are numerous events and wares dedicated to breast cancer awareness and it’s easily seen why. In the US, breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer and the death rate in women is second only to lung cancer. With these statistics in mind, the importance of being able to detect and diagnose breast cancer is clear. Historically, one of the greatest contributions to that effort was the advent of the Mammography.

Mammography as we now know it came into use in 1969. By 1976 it had become standard practice for detecting breast cancer. In the time following, many have applied their efforts toward improving upon the capabilities of mammography. Amongst those in this service is Dr. Gordon Hixson.


Dr. Gordon Hixson

Mammospot and S.O.F.T. Paddle Mammography

After a family friend was lost to breast cancer in her early 40s, Dr. Hixson was convinced that had it been diagnosed sooner, she may have been saved. From there he invested his own money to develop 75 prototypes that eventually culminated in the invention of the MammoSpot® Spot Compression Paddles. This innovation nearly doubled the size of the mammographic image available at the tie. It also reduced the patient’s radiation exposure by as much as a third and could detect cancer calcifications less than one-tenth of a millimeter in size. Dr. Hixson continued to improve upon the technology and later released the S.O.F.T. (Special Optimized Full Tilt Paddle) Paddle as well.

What is S.O.F.T. Paddle Mammography?

The S.O.F.T. (Special Optimized Full Tilt Paddle) Paddle like the Mammospot aids in the ability to more accurately evaluate a mommography. It does so by achieving better compression of the breast which results in better images and fewer callbacks. There is also the added benefit of less patient discomfort thanks to the paddle’s sloped design which makes sure that the patient’s posterior breast is no longer over compressed.

Thanks to the contributions of Dr. Hixson and others like him, mammograms have become one of the best tools for diagnosing breast cancer. Today mammograms detect 85% of breast cancers. And according to the American College of Radiology, the mortality rate has declined nearly 20% since 1990.

The current recommendation by the America Cancer Society is that women over 40 have annual mammograms. Undoubtedly, the key to surviving breast cancer is early detection. For those seeking to schedule their mammogram at the Women’s Diagnostic Center, you’ll be happy to know that no doctor order is necessary for scheduling (unless there are issues needing examination by your physician).