UC Health rolling out mobile mammography unit to improve access

CINCINNATI (WXIX) – UC Health is making it easier for women to get screened for breast cancer with their mobile mammography unit.

Dr. Rifat Wahab says the 40-foot pink van is equipped with the latest mammogram screening technology.

“This allows us to bring screening into our communities which is huge because this improves access for our patients,” said Dr. Wahab. “We can have multiple mammogram sites throughout our UC Health and UC Community. [It] allows women to jump on that van on a 20-minute lunch break and go right back into work without even taking time off.”

While there are different guidelines for when women should start screening for breast cancer, Dr. Wahab says it should start at the age of 40, especially for women of color who she says have a 40% higher death rate and a lower five-year survival rate.

”There are screening mammogram guidelines out there that say, let’s start screening at the age of 50,” explains Dr. Wahab. “Well, 72% of our minority women are diagnosed before the age of 50, so we’re essentially excluding them when we’re delaying that screening again. Delaying their diagnosis, which is why we are not seeing the same type of mortality decrease in our African American and Hispanic women as we are seeing with other women.”

Another advancement the mobile mammography unit brings is 3D digital tomosynthesis mammography.

Dr. Wahab says it improves the accuracy of detecting cancer.

“The older technology is like a closed book,” said Dr. Wahab. “Can you tell me what’s on page 13? Not really, but with a 3D tomosynthesis, I can open that book up and tell you what’s on page 13 by seeing each individual page. That has significantly improved breast cancer detection, especially in our women with dense breast tissue so actually, it’s a great advancement for us.”

This week, the van is making a stop in Hillsboro and then it will go to Midtown and Milford.

You can find the full schedule on UC Health’s website by clicking here.

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