YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — A Mobile Mammography Motor Coach is stopping in York City on Wednesday, Oct. 5, and traveling throughout the Midstate.
WellSpan Health started the coach in October of 2021 to provide breast cancer screenings to underserved communities across the Midstate. In the last year, health care workers have driven over 4,000 miles, screened 700 women and detected several cancers early.
Radiologist Dr. Beatrix Olofsson said disparities in screening rates are particularly wide in minority women, especially African-American women, and women in rural areas. The Mobile Mammography unit partners with community centers and employers across the Midstate, bringing breast cancer screenings to women who struggle to access them.
Oloffson said it can be hard for women to get to a screening facility, but it can also be a financial struggle, particularly for people who don’t have insurance. With the mobile mammography unit, patients can get the procedure done for free.
“Having the mobile mammogram come out and partner with community centers and employers in the region just makes it much more convenient and helps bridge those barriers for women who have lack of easy access to screening,” Olofsson said.
The coach has traveled over 4,000 miles from Franklin County to Lebanon County and to many other Midstate locations since its inception. Olofsson said these mammograms have caught six breast cancer cases in the last year.
“Those may not have been found until much later,” she said.
Doctors say getting yearly mammograms is critical to catching breast cancer early, as that is when treatment is most effective.
“Finding a breast cancer before there are symptoms usually means it’s smaller and located in just one area and hasn’t spread anywhere else,” Olofsson said.
You can see a list of dates and locations for additional motorcoach stops by clicking here. The bus is scheduled to make stops around the Midstate into November.
The mobile mammogram unit is busy — it has appointments booked out to next October.