As noted in on our blog last month, Southeastern Med’s John W. & Edna McManus Shepard Cancer Center is proud to be participating in the American Cancer Society’s “Return to Screening” initiative. The goal of this campaign is to help increase the number of life-saving cancer screenings across the country—particularly mammograms and colonoscopies—which have all dropped considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we’re talking about one of the most exciting and effective aspects of this effort: the “Mobile Mammography” unit operated by OhioHealth.
If you remember the traveling “Bookmobile” from your school days, this is a similar concept; only its focus is healthcare rather than education. The Mobile Mammography unit has been bringing advanced breast cancer screenings to women all over Ohio for many years now, and it has only continued to improve its capabilities, with both 2D and 3D imaging now conducted on state-of-the-art machines just like you’d see in a hospital.
These traveling units, run locally by experienced, friendly staff from OhioHealth and Southeastern Med, are vital in bringing screenings to people and communities that don’t usually have easy access to traditional medical centers. This week, for example, we joined the Mobile Mammography team for a day in Calais, Ohio, to provide screenings for members of the Amish community there.
Along with wheelchair accessibility, the mobile unit is also now set up for COVID safety protocols, as well. One person at a time is permitted in the unit, and everything is carefully sanitized between patients. The mammogram machines themselves are very safe, and both the registration and screening process can be completed in a matter of minutes.
According to the American Cancer Society:
- Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
- Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
- Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.
- Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.
- All women should be familiar with the known benefits, limitations, and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening.
Want to learn more, or want to find out where the Mobile Mammography unit is headed in the months ahead? Check our Return to Screening page!