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Mobile Mammography Unit stops in St. Joseph

With Breast Cancer Awareness month only a few days away, women's health is hitting the road and it made a stop in St. Joseph.

Posted: Sep 29, 2020 2:11 PM
Updated: Sep 30, 2020 9:00 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) With Breast Cancer Awareness month only a few days away, women's health is hitting the road and it made a stop in St. Joseph.

Tuesday, Diagnostic Imaging Centers brought their mammography mobile unit to East Hills Shopping Center. Offering area women their yearly mammogram exam without having to sit in a clinic. 

“A lot of people don’t make times for themselves to come in and get their mammograms. The actual exam doesn’t take that long,but just finding time that you aren’t running your kids around or your spouse. They can just swing in. You’re not sitting in a clinic. It probably just takes fifteen minutes total to have the exam done.”

Women 35-39-years-old can receive their baseline screening mammogram, women 40 and up do not need a doctor’s order for screening (non-symptomatic) mammograms.

Once the quick exam is complete, technologists upload the images back in their office for the radiologist to read. Patients and their physician will receive a letter and the examination.

Lead mobile mammography technologist, Ruth Ann Airy, said it's a simple exam that truly saves lives. “A lot of times with the 3D, we’ve heard that it’s catching cancer about a year ahead of time. It does multi-level, millimeter slices instead of just two images and you’re able to catch cancer earlier,” said Airy. 

Airy said although some women fear the pain of the actual exam, she said it's the results keeping most women from scheduling an appointment. 

"Fear is their main deterrent. We’ve had ladies crying that don’t want to go back. By the time, they’re like, ‘that wasn’t as bad as I thought,’” said Airy. 

Diagnostic Imaging Centers said only 60% of eligible women in Kansas City get their annual breast cancer screenings, but since starting the mobile unit four years ago, 4,000 more women have been screened. 

"It's important to stay on top of it and get it every year so we don’t miss anything,” said Airy.

The mammogram bus is taking walk-ins or appointments from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Diagnostic Imaging Centers' bus is offering 2D or 3D screenings. Insurance covers mammograms. For uninsured women, 2D is $150, 3D is $205. Mammogram technologists recommend 3D for best results.

Face masks are required inside the bus and routine disinfecting is taking place. 

To schedule an appointment or catch the bus's next location, call 816-444-9989 or visit their website. 

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A cold front is currently moving through our area this morning dropping temperatures into the lower 40s and upper 30s. Today will be a cool day with highs in the upper 40s and lower 50s with increasing clouds. Temperatures will fall into the lower 30s tonight. We could see a few areas of light rain and drizzle this evening, but precipitation chances will start to increase overnight into tomorrow morning. With the sub freezing temperatures, precipitation will transition from light rain and drizzle in the evening to snow overnight into Tuesday morning. Snowfall will continue through the morning hours on Tuesday before transitioning to a rain/snow mix while it exits the area. Most areas will see around 1-3 inches. Accumulations will stay mainly on grassy and elevated surfaces, but expect slushy road conditions Tuesday morning. Conditions will slowly start to improve for the rest of the work week with sunshine returning and temperatures slowly warming. Rain chances will return for the end of the work week.
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