A mobile mammogram van will soon hit the road in eight counties in central and northern New York as part of a partnership between Upstate University Hospital and the state to increase access to breast cancer screenings.
The 45-foot long pink and blue van is an all-in-one clinic complete with a reception area, dressing rooms, and the same type of state-of-the-art 3-D Mammography equipment that's used at Upstate. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul says that technology can now reach a much wider range of patients.
"To the countless women and families who are under-served because they don't have the transportation to go an urban area where there would be screening - this is the answer to that problem," Hochul said.
The $1 million van is one of several investments New York state has made to eliminate the obstacles that prevent women from receiving breast cancer screenings. Early detection of cancer can allow for more treatment options and potentially less aggressive treatments as well.
Janet Bacon, a breast cancer survivor who learned of her diagnosis after a screening at Upstate, plans to travel with the van.
"This van can go out, get the mammograms, give you a peace of mind, get that very important mammogram so it can save their life like they saved mine," Bacon said.
Upstate officials say the screenings will take 15-20 minutes and patients will get their results in the mail 2-10 days later.