(WAFB) - Woman's Hospital now has two mammography coaches to help save women's lives across the State of Louisiana. The bus provides on-site mammograms to women at churches, work sites, grocery stores, community centers, and more.
More than 95 percent of breast cancer cases are treated successfully when caught early. The American Cancer Society says women age 40 and older should receive annual mammograms to help catch cancer early.
Both of Woman's Hospital mammography coaches are equipped with 3D mammography technology, which help to diagnose cancer as early as possible by providing doctors with clear, precise images to help find abnormalities with greater precision. Only 12 mammography coaches in the whole country currently feature this 3D technology.
"We are proud to bring 3D mammography, the highest level of breast cancer detection technology, to women experiencing geographic, financial, and cultural barriers to proper breast care by focusing on areas where mammography and diagnostic services are not readily available. The overall goal of the program is to reduce Louisiana's breast cancer mortality rate, which is the second highest in the nation, through early detection and intervention," said Cynthia Rabalais, director of Imaging Services for Woman's Hospital.
The mobile program at Woman's Hospital began in 1955 after a study found that women were not accessing screening mammography as they should. At that time, many parishes had no mammography providers. The program began with two vans equipped with mammography units that were brought to doctors' offices around the community. Then in 2005, a larger vehicle was needed to upgrade from film to digital, and the hospital's first mammography coach was built.
With this second bus, Woman's is hoping to increase the number of women they serve to nearly 9,000 per year. The hospital is expanding services to Iberia, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard Parishes, bringing the total number of parishes they serve to 21.
To view the coach's schedule, click here.