(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.