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Atrium Health Navicent Unveils Design for New Mobile Mammogram Clinic

Mobile Mammography Unit launching.

Atrium Health Navicent recently unveiled a rendering for a new mobile mammography unit set to begin providing care in 2024 to patients in central and south Georgia.

Funded by a congressional spending allocation, the vehicle will allow Atrium Health Navicent to bridge gaps in access to lifesaving screening services in Macon and surrounding rural communities. Instead of patients having to travel to a screening facility, the mobile mammography unit will bring screenings to neighborhoods, workplaces, churches and other convenient locations.

“This mobile screening unit will allow us to reach more women, detecting more cancers early, when treatment options are more plentiful,” said Atrium Health Navicent President Delvecchio Finley. “Thanks to U.S. Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock for his support in helping Atrium Health Navicent expand access to these lifesaving screening services.”

For many women, mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women should begin annual mammography screenings at the age of 40.

The ACS estimates that in 2023, about 297,790 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. In Georgia, it is estimated that there will be about 9,440 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in 2023, resulting in about 1,400 deaths.

Atrium Health Navicent is part of integrated national health system Advocate Health. Atrium Health Floyd, one of the Advocate’s partner facilities in Rome, Georgia, already has a mobile mammography unit. Last year, that unit traveled 10,000 miles to conduct 2,600 cancer screenings. These screenings resulted in 130 abnormalities detected and four positive cases of cancer.

Typically, mobile mammogram results are anticipated to be returned within about two business days. If additional screening is needed, patients will be scheduled promptly for a follow-up appointment.

“The fact that we soon will be able to get out there and detect cancer sooner, catch it faster and get these services to the communities where people need them is nothing short of vital and truly important work,” Finley said at the unveiling. “Atrium Health Navicent is committed to expanding our ability to provide equitable access to high-quality health care to everyone in our community. We call it our ‘for all’ mission and we recognize, in our effort to do that, many individuals suffer from barriers that prevent them from accessing that care, such as transportation to clinics. We really get excited when we are able to close that gap, and today is one example of that.”

Atrium Health Navicent Peyton Anderson Cancer Center provides the latest technology for the early detection of breast cancer, including state-of-the-art 3D mammography and new SCOUT technology, as well as 3D biopsies, same-day biopsies, breast ultrasounds, 3D mammography, wireless breast localization biopsies, molecular breast imaging and breast MRI. High-risk hereditary screenings are also available.

Dr. Paul Dale, Atrium Health Navicent Peyton Anderson Cancer Center director and surgical oncologist, said the mobile mammography unit is a wonderful addition to the high-quality care already being offered at the cancer center.

“We offer world-class cancer care in your own backyard here in Macon. We have all the specialists right here — radiation oncology, medical oncology, surgical oncology, colorectal surgery, a beautiful infusion center — it’s all here in one building,” said Dr. Dale. “Now, the mobile unit allows us to expand that care to people across our community, bringing it to their own backyards. It’s absolutely wonderful. It will help us decrease mortality rates from breast cancer in central and south Georgia.”

The 35-foot mammogram coach, which is being custom-built, is expected to begin offering care in 2024. Businesses and organizations interested in scheduling a visit are asked to call 478-633-2003.

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