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Mobile mammography helping to “Bridge the Great Health Divide”

The St. Bernards mobile mammography unit called the Ma'am Mobile. It travels to various...
The St. Bernards mobile mammography unit called the Ma'am Mobile. It travels to various underserved health care areas in Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. It offers services in the parking lots of rural hospitals.(Source: KAIT-TV)
Published: May. 6, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Getting access to a screening mammogram should not stand in their way.

In Region 8, a largely rural area in Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri, that might mean traveling a great distance and possibly having to take off work to do so.

But, thanks to the St. Bernards Ma’am Mobile, a mobile mammography unit offers mammograms to women across an 18-county service area.

“I think it’s important that people, women especially, recognize that the most single most important thing they can do to avoid a death from breast cancer is to be undergo screening, every year, beginning at the age of 40,” Dr. Sharp Malak, St. Bernards Diagnostic Radiology Specialist, said. “We find that when we screen women every year with mammography, and especially the new techniques that we’re using 3D mammography tomosynthesis, a woman’s chance of dying with a breast cancer diagnosis is reduced by 40 percent. So you imagine that now we have this tool for early detection, and if we find a cancer that’s small, it’s much easier to treat, It’s less surgery, less chance of needing chemotherapy to beat it. And that’s pretty amazing!”

The equipment allows radiologists to view the breast in three dimensions, increasing cancer detection up to 20 percent in women with dense breasts.

The Ma’am Mobile is a women’s health center on wheels that visits 225 different locations a year. The mobile mammography unit stops at hospitals without mammography services, as well as community events, factories and other industries, schools, health departments, and doctors’ offices.

“Now, I understand, women’s lives are busy and they are juggling a lot of roles their mother, their spouse,” Dr. Malak said. They’re working in the community. But imagine if you could take a half-hour or 45 minutes out of your day, once a year. In order to reduce your chance of dying from the second most common cause of cancer death in women. It’s pretty big reason to do it, and the reward greatly outweighs it. You know the harms of not doing it.”

“It is the state-of-the-art mammography equipment on a 40-foot mobile unit. And this mobile unit. We go to churches local businesses civic organizations around 230 different locations throughout the year to screen women for breast cancer. The exam itself takes around 15 minutes, and it can save a woman’s life.”

If you would like to have the mobile unit brought to a location near you or you’d like more information about its availability, call 870-207-7300.

Check these dates and times to see when the Ma’am Mobile will be near you:

May

  • SEMO Otton Bean Medical Center - Kennett 5/11/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • 1st Choice Healthcare - Corning 5/12/21 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • East Arkansas Family Health Clinic - Lepanto 5/13/21 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • St. Bernards Urgent Care - Kennett 5/14/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Cross Points Church 5/15/21 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Pemiscot Memorial Hospital 5/19/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • SEMO - New Madrid Medical Center 5/20/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Piggott Community Hospital 5/21/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • SEMO - Bernie Medical Center 5/25/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • St. Bernards Mobile Mammography Unit/ 5/27/21 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

will be parked on the St. Bernards Imaging Center campus

June

  • Five Rivers Medical Center 6/1/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Piggott Community Hospital 6/4/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Wagner Medical - Lepanto 6/9/21 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Wagner Medical - Manila 6/10/21 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • St. Bernards Urgent Care - Kennett 6/11/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Five Rivers Medical Center 6/15/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Pemiscot Memorial Hospital 6/16/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Juneteenth Celebration 6/19/21 TBA
  • East Arkansas Family Health Clinic - Trumann 6/22/21 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Harrisburg Family Practice 6/23/21 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Buffalo Island Family Medical Clinic 6/24/21 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Fellowship Community Church 6/25/21 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • SEMO Otton Bean Medical Center - Kennett 6/28/21 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • East Arkansas Family Health Clinic - Lepanto 6/29/21 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • St. Bernards First Care - Osceola 6/30/21 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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