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Dr. Ore Ojutiku, Section Chief of Mammography, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem

“Women’s Health is Everyone’s Health,” is the phrase Dr. Ore Ojutiku, Section Chief of Mammography at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, remembers most from her medical training. Female family members, Dr. Ojutiku says, are often the ones who “encourage other family members to seek early disease prevention or diagnosis, and adhere to a health plan.” By fostering women’s health, Dr. Ojutiku fosters the health of all New Yorkers.

Dr. Ojutiku is an expert in the field of breast imaging, having completed her fellowship in the subject at the Yale New Haven Hospital in 2010. Breast imaging, says Dr. Ojutiku, blended her interests in the visual and the procedural, and allowed her to both educate and deliver care to her patients. “Being the first line of defense against breast cancer by providing quality care and individual care is… a powerful driving force," Dr. Ojutiku shared.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States, following skin cancer, and is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. Each year, about 264,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,400 in men, with 42,000 women and 500 men dying from breast cancer. Breast imaging helps physicians diagnose breast cancer and come up with a course of treatment. [Source: CDC]

As the Section Chief of Mammography at H+H/Harlem, Dr. Ojutiku spearheads the hospital’s effort to improve the breast imaging patient experience by reducing wait times for screenings, and diagnostic and biopsy appointments. Her department also aims to convert entirely to 3D mammography and other cutting-edge technologies to improve breast cancer detection rates and patient comfort.

Women’s Health is Everyone’s Health.

Dr. Ore Ojutiku

Section Chief of Mammography, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem

Unlike conventional digital mammography (2D), 3D mammography—or ‘digital breast tomosynthesis’—takes multiple images of the breast at different angles. A computer then combines all these ‘image slices’ to create a comprehensive, 3D image of the breast. To illustrate the difference, Dr. Ojutiku compares 2D mammography to “guessing what’s in a book, just by reading the front and back cover.” 3D mammography, however, allows doctors to read the pages, too.

3D imaging helps breast imagers see a clearer image of abnormalities in patients with dense breasts, and helps them find smaller tumors and irregularities that may not be visible in 2D. 3D imaging also improves doctors’ ability to diagnose breast cancer at earlier stages, and reduces the amount of ‘false alarms’ and ‘callbacks’ for additional imaging by up to 40%, Dr. Ojutiku shares.

Physicians often offer different recommendations for when to begin annual breast screenings and how often. Harlem Hospital Center’s official recommendation is for average-risk women to obtain their first, annual mammogram at age 40, and to continue getting them yearly. Dr. Ojutiku elaborated that, “While 3D mammography has become much more preferred and commonplace, any mammogram is recommended rather than none.” For those with ‘dense breasts,’ Dr. Ojutiku recommends finding a facility that offers 3D imaging.

This Women’s Health Week, PAGNY echoes Dr. Ojutiku’s sentiments, that “Women’s Health is Everyone’s Health.” Protect yourself against breast cancer by scheduling your annual breast screening at one of our NYC Health + Hospitals partners!