In a previous blog, we shared how Dana-Farber’s Mammography Van made its way to Uganda! Now see Dana-Farber’s current Mammography Van!
Dana-Farber’s Mammography Van is the only mobile digital mammography program in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It provides screening mammograms and breast health education to women 40 years of age and older, regardless of ability to pay.
Although any woman who is medically eligible is welcome on the van, priority populations include women who are uninsured, low-income, elderly, immigrant, and non-English speaking.
In partnership with community-based organizations and neighborhood health centers, the van is on the road 3-4 days per week year-round, serving all Boston neighborhoods as well as other towns, including Lawrence, Natick, Waltham, Quincy, Brockton, and Randolph, Mass.
Skilled, board-certified mammography technologists from Dana-Farber perform the exams and films are interpreted by board-certified radiologists with extensive experience dedicated to mammography.
By bringing Dana-Farber’s high quality services directly to the neighborhoods in which women live and work, the van helps break down cultural, linguistic, financial, and logistical barriers to care and makes mammograms more accessible to those least likely to obtain one.
In addition to its central purpose of providing breast cancer screening and education, Dana-Farber’s Mammography Van serves as a point of entry into the health care system at large, and provides an opportunity to connect women to both primary care and health insurance coverage. In addition to its central purpose of providing breast cancer screening and education, Dana-Farber’s Mammography Van serves as a point of entry into the health care system at large, and provides an opportunity to connect women to both primary care and health insurance coverage.
Women who lack a primary care provider are connected to one prior to their mammogram, and women who lack health insurance have the opportunity to apply for state-subsidized plans at the time of their exam. Ultimately, the program seeks to decrease breast cancer morbidity and mortality among medically underserved women and increase survival rates for those diagnosed with breast cancer.
Dana-Farber’s Mammography Van provides a convenient and effective way for women to continually monitor their breast health. By referring patients to primary care physicians and health insurance coverage and by ensuring patients receive timely and quality follow-up services, the van is helping women and their families achieve a higher level of overall health care.
In FY10 (October 1, 2009 – September 30, 2010), the mammography van provided 2,489 mammograms. During this period, about 50.2 percent of the women screened on the van were uninsured or publicly insured; 82 percent were of ethnic minority backgrounds, including African-American, Hispanic/Latino and Asian; and 60 percent spoke a first language other than English.
The van sees patients speaking more than 40 different languages and has provided more than 27,000 mammograms since the program’s inception in May 2002.
The mammography van’s success would not be made possible without the generosity of a growing community of individual, corporate, and foundation supporters.
Courtesy of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute