Patient Care

UR Medicine Launches Mobile Mammography Van: Will Help Save Lives

Nov. 16, 2023
Regional outreach program expands access to essential breast cancer screenings

UR Medicine is expanding access to potentially life-saving breast cancer screening with the introduction of a Mobile Mammography Van. Equipped with state-of-the-art, 3D breast imaging technology, it provides important preventive care for women throughout the Rochester, Finger Lakes, and Western New York region.

The Mammo Van is equipped with a state-of-the-art 3D mammography system.

“The Mammo Van ensures equitable access to breast cancer screenings, no matter where you live,” said Kathy Parrinello, chief operating officer for UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital. “We are providing every woman who needs a screening mammogram the ability to get a mammogram close to home.”

Adorned with pink and purple lilacs, the Mammo Van is 41 feet long and outfitted with modern breast imaging technology. It provides the same amenities and comforts as other imaging centers: high-tech, 3D mammography equipment, private dressing rooms, air conditioning, and wheelchair accessibility.

The imaging equipment was funded by longtime URMC Board member Joseph Lobozzo, who passed away earlier this year. “We appreciate his generous support for this and many other URMC efforts. When he learned about this project, Joe didn’t hesitate to help make it happen,” Parrinello said.

Mammography is the gold standard for detecting breast cancer and is recommended annually for women beginning at age 40. Identifying cancer early provides the greatest chance for survival.

“We are passionate about this wide-reaching effort to provide this care close to home,” said Jennifer Harvey, MD, chair of UR Medicine Imaging and a breast imaging expert. “Far too many women don’t get mammograms every year. As physicians, this is concerning because any delay in a breast cancer diagnosis can lead to a worsened outcome.”

41-foot bus adorned in pink and purple lilacs.
UR Medicine's Mobile Mammography Van will travel to communities throughout the Finger Lakes and Western New York.

Breast cancer will be diagnosed in more than 350,000 women this year, and another 43,700 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. This Mammo Van outreach program elevates UR Medicine Breast Imaging and Wilmot Cancer Institute, which together provide comprehensive breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and care.

“There are areas of the Rochester, Finger Lakes, and Western New York regions with limited access to this type of cancer screening. Bringing mammography to these communities is just one of the many ways UR Medicine is able to provide care to underserved individuals in our area,” said Jonathan Friedberg, MD, MMSc, director of the Wilmot Cancer Institute, which has 14 clinical locations throughout the Finger Lakes and Western New York. “Routine cancer screenings are critical to quality of life and survival.”

Wilmot Cancer Institute developed a mapping tool to collect data from the 27-county region from which it draws patients. The tool allows providers and researchers to see, in real-time, cancer incidence, screening rates, and other data relevant to preventing and treating cancer. Current data show that women in Yates and Cayuga counties, in particular, may benefit from more screening opportunities.

The Breast Imaging team is scheduling the Mammo Van to visit inner-city community centers, rural towns, indigenous American and Amish communities, organizations supporting migrants, health fairs, and other large events. It will also visit UR Medicine clinical practices in Rochester and throughout the region, bringing care close to home.

To schedule an appointment, call 844-870-0002 or email Screening mammograms are covered by insurance.

New York State Cancer Services Programs support people who are uninsured, or underinsured and need important cancer screenings. The Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region can be reached at: 585-224-3070. To find programs in other counties, call 866-442-2262.