The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life. To make mammograms more accessible, UC Health has a Mobile Mammography program that brings the same level of care offered in hospitals a little closer to home.
UC’s Mobile Mammography unit will be in Hillsboro at 108 Gov. Trimble Place on Monday, Sept. 9 from 1-3 p.m. Morgan Miller, manager for the Mobile Mammography program at UC’s Barrett Cancer Center, told The Times-Gazette that an appointment performed in the Mobile Mammography unit takes 15 minutes on average from registration to the completion of the mammogram.
The University of Cincinnati’s Breast Cancer Center, an American Radiology College-accredited institution, recommends that women 40 and over get a mammogram annually.
“There’s always been this perception in the community that when you come to the van you’re getting different service or the service is not as good. It’s the exact same as what you’re getting at any other hospital across the system,” Miller said. “The mammogram procedure is being completed and read by the same technologists, radiologists, and with the same technology that we use at UC Medical Center in Westchester Hospital.”
Plus, Miller said, patients without insurance who get mammograms done at the Mobile Mammography unit have access to funding that isn’t available to patients in hospitals. For those with insurance, however, it typically covers mammograms 100 percent, and staff at the event make sure that a patient’s insurance will cover the screening before performing the mammogram, Miller said.
When The Times-Gazette spoke with Miller, only five women had scheduled appointments for the event in Highland County. There are still appointments available, but patients must schedule an appointment in advance.
“Seventy-five percent of [the women diagnosed with breast cancer] don’t have a family history [of breast cancer],” Miller said. “When diagnosed early, the chance of survival is 90 percent. When these women wait 30 years to get their mammogram, and we diagnose them with stage four [breast cancer] — these women are dying.”
For those who may dread getting a mammogram because of the pain or discomfort, Miller said that the compression a patient experiences during a mammogram isn’t as tight as it used to be.
“We’d rather give you a mammogram and have you come back than squeeze you so hard you never come back,” Miller said. “I would tell the woman who’s apprehensive that the 15 minutes you spend with us could truly save your life.”
To schedule an appointment with UC Health for the Sep. 9 event in Hillsboro, call 513-584-7465.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.