Mobile Mammograms to Reach More Patients
Nearly all women and their medical providers understand the importance of regular mammograms for breast cancer screening. Regular Mammograms greatly increase the early detection of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society cites a 2010 study performed in Sweden from 1986 through 2005. The study determined that the death rate from breast cancer was reduced by 29 percent for those who obtained regular mammograms as opposed to women who did not.
Access to mammography is known to be a problem for some women. Those in rural areas, those without a regular primary care physician and those without health insurance are factors leading to women’s reluctance to obtain regular screening.
A mobile mammography unit may help alleviate this problem and provide access for women who might not other wise obtain screening. The unit can be driven to an outlying area or under served community and offer mammography on the spot, without the need for women to travel.
A mobile unit will need to have room for multiple patients simultaneously and also provide a waiting area. It must also have sufficient space for medical providers and technicians to adequately perform their tasks. Some units are large enough to accommodate up to 11 women at a time, while still providing sufficient workspace for personnel.
Other requirements of a mobile unit require configuration to install mammography equipment from multiple manufacturers. The company constructing the unit should have an intimate knowledge of the set up requirements from all major mammography companies.
The unit should also have a professional appearance, allowing women to feel comfortable inside. Cancer screening is a stressful enough for most women and a comfortable, professional looking unit can help put many at ease. Finally, because the unit will be used on a near daily basis, construction needs to be sturdy enough to withstand regular use on the road.
Can mobile units help reach those who might otherwise not obtain screening? In another study, more than 3,900 women were screened for breast cancer via mobile unit between 2008 and 2010. Of the women screened through the mobile unit, more than half had never had a prior mammogram or hadn’t had one in the prior five years. Of those tested, 31 cases of cancer were detected. A mobile unit can make a difference.