New mammogram machine puts women in control - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

New mammogram machine puts women in control

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) —  As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, General Electric is showing off its newest mammogram technology inside a pink 18-wheeler. 

The truck was recently in Los Angeles and will move on to Phoenix after its Monday visit to San Diego. 

With its pink décor and messages on display, the truck obviously this isn't a typical big rig. 

Inside is a spa-like setting featuring soft music, floral scents, images of nature and Pristina. 

"We're trying to encourage more women to get mammograms because what we know early detection helps save lives," said GE's Julie Blaha. 

Blaha says Pristina, which was created by a team of women, is a new mammography system that looks and feels different than what we're used to with rounded corners, a comfortable arm rest and a thinner detector.  

But, the biggest difference is a first-of-its-kind remote that allows the patient to control their own breast compression during a mammogram. 

To demonstrate, News 8's Shannon Handy underwent a simulated exam. 

The compression starts at the minimum needed; though studies show, with the patient in charge, they usually allow more pressure than they would if a technician were pressing the button. 

And it takes just seconds to complete. 

In addition, Pristina moves up and down to accommodate taller or shorter patients and goes very low for use with wheelchair patients. 

GE officials say the goal is to make the mammogram experience more inviting, especially because one in four women avoid mammograms out of fear of pain and anxiety. 

And 40,000 people die from breast cancer each year. 

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