For busy women needing their yearly mammograms, the screening takes just 10 minutes in University Hospital's mobile mammography van.
"It could be the 10 minutes that save their life," said Pam Anderson, program coordinator for University's Breast Health Center. "My message is: Get it every year, because it can save your life."
The 40-foot mobile van will park three times in Columbia County during June. The screenings will be offered from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Club Car at 4125 Washington Road in Evans on June 10; at Publix at 403 Furys Ferry Road in Martinez on June 26 and at the Columbia County Health Department's Evans Clinic at 616 Ronald Reagan Drive on June 29.
Women ages 40 and older should receive a mammogram screening annually.
"The key to early diagnosis of breast cancer is to find it on a mammogram," Anderson said. "One in eight women get breast cancer in their lifetime."
After an early-stage diagnosis and treatment, the five-year survival rate for women with breast cancer is 90 percent, according to the American Breast Cancer Foundation.
Only about 60 to 70 percent of women who should receive mammograms are screened annually, Anderson said.
"We're trying to take the mobile out into their community, so it makes it easier for them to get their mammograms," she said.
This is the seventh year that University's mobile mammography unit has been making rounds throughout area counties, such as Columbia County, Richmond County, Aiken County and outlying counties, Anderson said.
The van recently has received a complete overhaul and is now equipped with digital equipment. New hardwood floors and furniture also were added to the van in July 2008, Anderson said.
"We have diagnosed 77 cancers on the mobile in six years, and none of those women knew they had cancer," she said. "We've done probably over 20,000 mammograms on the van."
Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling the Breast Health Center at (706) 774-4149.
Women younger than 40 who believe they are at a high risk for breast cancer can call the Breast Health Center to see if a mammogram is recommended.
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