The Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health has announced the arrival of two new mobile mammography units that will increase access to breast cancer screenings. The new units were made possible because of Spartanburg Regional Foundation fundraising efforts.
Traveling to and from medical appointments can be a challenge for women who have families and busy schedules. It is even more of a challenge when you live in a remote area — especially when trying to get a mammogram.
To help reach more women, the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health provides mammography at sites throughout the community through the mobile mammography program.
“Women are often too busy working and taking care of their families to remember their yearly mammogram,” said Mary Mabry, director of the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health. “Our goal is to make it easier for women to get mammograms so they can take care of themselves.”
The two new units are available to women who may not have access to care, because they lack time, transportation, insurance or awareness. Both units are used to conduct on-site screenings at churches, businesses, health fairs, community centers and other locations in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties.
The new units are outfitted with the latest technology, including 3D tomosynthesis. This digital mammogram reduces the chances of false-positive reports that require follow-up visits. Tomosynthesis also aids in the early detection of cancers.
“This program literally saves lives,” said Betty Montgomery, chair of the Spartanburg Regional Foundation Cancer Division. “We are proud to partner with the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health on this project, and we’re grateful for the generosity of donors who made it possible.”
Lead donors to the effort included the Cannon Family, the Fullerton Foundation and the Timken Foundation. Additional individuals, foundations and companies throughout the region supported the campaign, including employers who utilize the mobile mammography unit onsite.
“Annual mammograms are the first line of defense when it comes to detecting breast cancer,” said Elaine Smith, chief HR business partner at Contec, Inc. “Bringing the mobile unit to our workplace is one of the ways we can make sure that our women are taking advantage of these life-saving screenings.”
The mobile mammography program is especially important in rural and underserved communities, where women have historically lacked access to screening. For example, the S.C. Cancer Alliance, which studies trends in cancer diagnoses and mortality, has identified Cherokee and Union counties as areas where breast cancer rates are high and greater support for screening and early detection is needed.
Expanding the mobile mammography program can make a difference in underserved communities, said Jay Bearden, MD, hematology oncologist with Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute.
“It will help us to reach a lot of people who are not in close proximity to a screening center,” Dr. Bearden said.
To learn more about the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health mobile mammography program, please visit RegionalFoundation.com or call 864-560-6727.
To request a mobile visit to a business, event or site, please call 864-560-6400.
Article original appears in the Discover Health Blog.