It’s a mammography clinic on wheels. A bus that’s hard to miss on the outside, with a life-saving machine on the inside.
Adventist Health in the Central Valley is bring the “Life Saving Images” mobile mammography unit to ten valley communities every month. Places like Orosi, Coalinga, and Selma. A grant from Susan G. Komen Northern and Central California helped get the mammo unit rolling. Reaching women who might not have easy access to healthcare. “Sometimes healthcare is more complicated than it needs to be and so bringing it to patients where they actually live is making it a lot easier for patients to get the services that they need,” says Jessica Rodriguez of Adventist Health.
Patients like Barbara Micola of Sanger who has a history of breast cancer on both sides of her family. A yearly mammogram is vital. ” It’s easier . It’s quicker , the experience in the bus is the same. It’s a mammogram,” says Micola.
“We take the first two in this position, then the machine swings automatically into a side position and we usually use a 45 degree angle,” says Mammographer Mary Martinez of Life Saving Images.
A simple test, that takes 10 to 15 minutes. Especially important in rural areas, where late stage breast cancer diagnoses can be more common due to a lack of accessible healthcare. “A lot of our patients wait until they feel something or they notice something, but a lot of these things can be detected a lot sooner,” says Rodriguez.
Once the mammogram is complete, the image is read by a radiologist and then sent to the patient’s doctor.
For more information on Adventist Health’s Mobile Mammography Clinics go to www.adventisthealth.org/central-valley