Baptist’s mobile mammogram unit provides access to convenient breast cancer screenings

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 8:21 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Here is a staggering statistic: In 2021, an estimated 284,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.

Many women in rural areas don’t get the care or screenings they need for early detections because of barriers that come with where they live.

Mississippi Baptist Medical Center is providing access to convenient breast cancer screenings with the latest technology.

“What we are trying to do is prevent that patient from coming in the emergency room with a huge lump and huge breast cancer when it is too late,” said Director of Radiology Stefanie Dendy.

Temeka Brown says after battling Covid-19, she promised herself she would focus more on her health.

“This is my very first mammogram, and I am kind of embarrassed to say I was a little scared to have a mammogram because being afraid of the unknown,” she admitted.

Thanks to a state-of the-art mobile van, she and many others can take advantage of the screening that’s now at their fingertips.

“This is where we perform the mammogram. We bring the patient into this area, and this is the actual 3D mammogram screening unit, three dimensions. This is the best of the best,” said Traci Brock.

“According to the American Cancer Society, women starting at the age of 40 should start getting yearly mammograms, but we know that only 40% of those women who qualify for a screening actually get those. They can be for a variety of reasons but one reason we know is a lack of access to the technology in rural communities,” said Mississippi Baptist Medical Center’s Director of Radiology Jennifer Thompson.

That’s why the mobile unit caters to the underinsured and under-served, bringing them access to affordable and convenient breast cancer screenings.

Health officials say since the program rolled out in February, they have done at least 2,000 mammograms. They plan to continue traveling and helping in the fight against breast cancer.

“We know there is a lack of services and a lack of funds, and there are no 3D units in all our rural hospitals. We know our patients can’t travel long distances, because either they don’t have a way or means of transportation, or they can’t take off work. There are a variety of reasons. So, if you can come to them, they’re more likely going to get their screening mammograms each year,” said Thompson.

Appointments take only 20 minutes. Mondays, it is in Carthage. Tuesday, it stops in Yazoo City. It will be in Kosciusko on Wednesday and Thursday and on every other Friday in Vicksburg.

Call 601-973-3180 to schedule appointment

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