CINCINNATI—October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the message of "pink” is filtering through the community: Know your risk, and know the facts.
For women 40 and older, mammograms are recommended every year to detect potential cancers at the earliest possible moment.
University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute radiologists are making access to the most innovative imaging techniques even easier with the Mobile Diagnostics Van and the tomosynthesis technology.
"Tomosynthesis, otherwise known as 3D mammography, allows us to image breast tissue in one millimeter slices, providing greater visibility and allowing us to see tissue details throughout the entire breast that we may not be able to see with standard, 2D mammography,” says Mary Mahoney, MD, director of breast imaging at the UC Cancer Institute and UC Health and professor in the division of radiology at the UC College of Medicine.
"We’re able to see the breast in 3D, increasing our accuracy and decreasing the need to call patients back for extra imaging and the results turn out to be normal tissue.”
She adds that this imaging is particularly effective for women with dense breast tissue and those with an increased risk for breast cancer and is usually performed in conjunction with a routine mammogram.
In June 2013, UC Health unveiled a Mobile Diagnostics Van equipped with this technology—the only one of its kind in the region and one of six in the nation—making tomosynthesis and breast cancer screening even more convenient for those being screened in the Tristate.
"The van will set up outside any business, church or charity organization that wants us at no charge,” Mahoney says. "This is just another way to provide preventive care and raise awareness of breast cancer.”
Mahoney adds that in addition to this "portable prevention,” the tomosynthesis technology, which began in clinical trials at UC and has since been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, is now being installed in the Barrett Center at the University of Cincinnati and at UC Health West Chester.
"Regardless of whether or not you are at an age when you need a mammogram, it is important to know about your environmental and familial risks of breast cancer—for both men and women,” she stresses. "Be sure to schedule your wellness exams with your physician and do your own breast exams in the meantime. Also, if you notice a change in the feel or look of your breast or nipple or notice any discharge, or lump, see your doctor immediately.
"October is a great time to get out the pink and remind ourselves and others about the risk of breast cancer, but keep breast health in mind year round for the best preventive measures.”
Van Schedule for Public:
10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday, Oct. 28: UC Health Primary Care – Montgomery, 9275 Montgomery Road
8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2: Women’s Health Fair, Primary Health Solutions, Miami University, Hamilton Campus
1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 6: UC Health Primary Care – Tri-County, 11590 Century Blvd.
1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 19: UC Health Primary Care – Wyoming, 305 Crescent Ave.
For more updates on the van’s location, visit uchealth.com/events. If you're interested in having the van set up outside of your business or charity organization, call 513-584-2727.