Chattanooga Doctor Develops Tool in Detecting Breast Cancer Early
Getting a mammogram can be both a life-saving test and an uncomfortable necessity. But for Dr. Gordon Hixson, it's his life's work. "I consider it a labor of love to try and find cancers early and curable," Dr. Hixson says.
Decades ago, when Dr. Hixson started practicing, catching cancer early was more luck than science. "When I started in Radiology there was no such thing as mammography," Dr. Hixson explains. "There was a huge amount of unnecessary surgery because they really had no idea what was going on underneath the skin."
And as those pictures became possible, it was Dr. Hixson that discovered there must be a better way. "It dawned on me about 23 years ago that if we had a paddle that followed the contours of the upper side of the breast, it would be possible to compress the front part of the breast better. Indeed, it does make a difference. There's no question that we can get an earlier diagnosis in some patients, especially if they have abundant glandular tissue."
That earlier diagnosis starts across town at Standard Tool and Die. The machine shop creates the S.O.F.T. paddle and other accessories that American Mammographics sells.
Dr. Hixson practices at Women's Diagnostic
Center on Vance Road in Chattanooga. Click here to visit their website.
By: Latricia Thomas
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