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Published on April 07, 2016

Ellis Fischel’s New ‘Mamm Van’ Brings 3-D Breast Screenings to Rural Missouri

Finding breast cancer earlier has just become easier for women in rural Missouri

  • Mammography Van
  • Mammography Van
  • Mammography Van
  • Mammography Van
  • Mammography Van
  • Mammography Van

Ellis Fischel Cancer Center now has a new “mamm van” equipped with 3-D breast screening technology.

The mobile mammography van is a 38-foot-long fully inclusive clinic that provides women in rural areas access to the same mammography screening services available at Ellis Fischel, including 3-D mammography, or tomosynthesis.

Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, a part of MU Health Care, is a certified member of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Network®. Ellis Fischel’s breast care team has advanced, specialized training and provides comprehensive care for women with all levels of breast health needs.

“At University of Missouri Health Care, our mission is to advance the health of all people, especially Missourians,” said Mitch Wasden, chief executive officer of MU Health Care. “Our new mobile mammography van is an important extension of that mission because it helps us provide life-saving breast screenings to women who otherwise might not receive them. We’re providing breast cancer screenings to women throughout rural Missouri at locations that are convenient to them, such as at work, church or community businesses. ”

With a private mammography suite and changing room, the van is designed with the needs of patients in mind. Appointments generally take 30 minutes from check-in to completion, and if follow-up care is needed, the mamm van team works to ensure women get the care they need.

The all-female clinical staff aboard the van provides mammograms, clinical breast exams and breast health education to women throughout the state. In 2015, 2,940 screenings were performed on women from 49 Missouri counties. One such woman was Cheri Fortman, an employee at the Caterpillar Inc. manufacturing plant in Boonville. Fortman has used the mamm van each year since she turned 40.

“Breast cancer recently took the life of my aunt, so getting a mammogram is not something I take lightly,” Fortman said. “With the mamm van, I’m able to walk outside during my lunch break and get my yearly screening. The staff really is great, too. They’re very knowledgeable and really put my mind at ease each time I see them.”

The new van, which replaces an existing van in service since 2005, is fully supported with a pledge of $765,958 from the David B. Lichtenstein Foundation, a private foundation that contributes to charitable organizations in Missouri.

“We are very grateful to the David B. Lichtenstein Foundation for their support,” said Kevin Staveley-O’Carroll, MD, PhD, director of Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and chair of the MU School of Medicine Hugh E. Stephenson Jr., MD, Department of Surgery. “According to the American Cancer Society, more than 5,000 women in Missouri are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Thanks to the foundation’s generosity, we can help catch breast cancer earlier by ensuring that women across the state have access to the latest technology to detect breast cancer.”

Employers, rural physicians, church groups, county health departments and civic clubs interested in scheduling the mamm van can call Ellis Fischel’s cancer screening services at 573-882-8511 or email sinelea@health.missouri.edu. For more information about mobile mammography screenings, please visit http://muhealth.org/mammvan.

Click here for high-resolution photos of the mammography van.

To download broadcast-quality video related to this release, visit http://muextmedia.missouri.edu/munews/

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