SAGINAW, MI – In a news release from Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital, officials announce that a $1 million mobile mammography 3D breast cancer screening center will be established to address Ascension’s unusually high mortality rate for breast cancer patients to be treated in the central, northern, and thumb regions of Michigan.
According to the National Cancer Institute, about one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
Both the institute and Ascension said that while mammograms don’t prevent breast cancer, they can save lives by finding it about five years before it can be detected by self-examination.
Ascension Michigan Regional President and CEO for Mid/North Michigan, Dr. Stephanie Duggan said the mobile screening clinic will help detect breast cancer earlier in more rural communities that may not have similar services nearby.
“This state-of-the-art clinic on wheels will assist in the early detection of breast cancer and reduce loss of life, which is paramount in many of the rural communities where we operate, particularly in areas where mammography services are non-existent,” said duggan . “People receive the same high-quality mammography screening as if they were traveling to one of our hospital imaging centers.”
In the press release, St. Mary’s breast care teams recommend annual mammography screenings beginning at age 40.
The hospital also said a doctor’s prescription is often required for a mammogram.
St. Mary’s will open Thursday, October 20 at 12:00 p.m. at the Seton Cancer Institute, 800 South Washington Ave. in Saginaw, hold a ceremonial blessing and dedication ceremony. 30 p.m
dr Christopher Garces, a breast surgical oncologist at Ascension St. Mary’s, said that while the technology provided at the traveling screening center is modern and important, it’s the mobile aspect and the ability to take the technology where it wasn’t before were used, which is what makes the addition so important.
“This high-tech mobile mammography screening center allows people to get a mammogram in a location that is more convenient and closer to home,” Garces said. “The images are transmitted daily from the mobile mammography system to the hospital, where a radiologist evaluates them within 24 to 48 hours. Earlier detection of breast cancer can lead to faster treatment and better outcomes.”
According to the press release, the mobile center will have a registration area and private changing rooms leading to 3D tomosynthesis mammography machines.
The hospital said a regular monthly schedule is planned to offer services through the Birch Run Mobile Mammography Screening Center, Chesaning, Frankenmuth, Oscoda, Vassar and various areas throughout Genesee County.
In addition to regional visits, the press release said the screening center will be made available at community health fairs and events, as well as companies planning a visit for their workplaces.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with the Mobile Mammography Center, call Ascension St. Mary’s Imaging Center at 989-907-8222 or 800-605-9141.
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