Mobile Mammogram Van Visits Spring Creek Towers

DSC_0578BY AMANDA MOSES

Breast cancer accounted for nearly 25% of all cancers in 2012, according to the National Cancer Institute. Early detection is one of the many reasons some women have survived the disease. Self-breast exams, gynecological visits and mammograms are very important in helping physicians detect masses in breasts. The National Cancer Institute reports that, “Overall, the sensitivity of mammography is about 84%, which means mammography correctly identifies about 84% of women who truly have breast cancer.”

In light of the importance of early detection, Spring Creek Senior Partners (SCSP) encourages all of its members to visit their doctors and receive mammograms and/or colon checks. For some people the cost of seeing a doctor is too expensive, so SCSP invited ScanVan Mobile Mammography to visit the Spring Creek Towers’ (SCT) community. Founded by Project Renewal, ScanVan is the country’s first mobile mammography and radiology clinic for homeless and uninsured adults.

“Spring Creek Senior Partners has been organizing a visit by the ScanVan Mobile Mammography Van for several years and we see this as a very important service for the community. Current guidelines from the American College of Radiology and the Society for Breast Imaging recommend that women receive annual mammograms starting at age 40 — even if they have no symptoms or family history of breast cancer. Annual mammograms can detect cancer early — when it is most treatable. By making the mobile van available onsite, we help make it easier for women to get this critical screening. In addition, this special program provides assistance for those women without insurance or whose insurance will not cover a mammogram and there is no charge in such cases,” said SCSP Director Theodora Ziongas.

On August 4th, the ScanVan was parked inside of the G5 Loop from about 8am till 2pm, where they saw dozens of SCT residents. One of their patients was 69-year-old Geraline Edwards, who is an extremely health conscious individual. She has lived in SCT for many years and is an avid believer that all residents should participate in the free healthcare opportunities offered by SCSP, like the ScanVan.

“I’ve attended these ScanVan appointments every year, since they first started visiting this community. It’s a wonderful experience, and everyone should stop making excuses and get their mammograms done today!”

The ScanVan is a hulking vehicle, and that’s because there are two mammogram machines, two patient rooms (where doctors and nurses speak to patients) and a small waiting area. The ScanVan is truly a doctor’s office and radiology clinic on wheels. Nurse Anita Ya was one of the staff members seeing patients and stated that ScanVan provides a vast amount of free services.

“ScanVan provides clinical breast exams, mammograms, tuberculosis (TB) tests, and health education to homeless and low-income men and women. Before or after the patient’s mammogram I perform a breast exam, which women usually receive during their annual gynecological checkup,” said Ya.

Ziongas was pleased with the turnout and has observed that attendance to these ScanVan visits has grown over the years, and she hopes it will continue to grow. “Although Spring Creek Senior Partners organizes this program, it is available to women residing here who are 40 years and older,” Ziogas said.

For updates as to the next healthcare seminar or visit from the ScanVan check out SCSP column on page 7 for updates or call 718- 348-7620.

Photo by Amanda Moses