Proud to Fund the UT Mobile Mammography Unit for More Than 20 Years
Susan G. Komen East Tennessee has funded the UT Medical Center’s Mobile Mammography Unit since our first community grant funding cycle in 1998. We are proud to fund this project again in 2019-2020.
The Mobile Mammography Unit has been operated by UT Medical Center Cancer Institute’s Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) since 1996. Every year, the mobile unit reaches thousands of women in need of a screening mammogram throughout 21 counties in East Tennessee.
Addressing Rural Challenges
For more than 20 years, funding from Komen East TN has covered the costs for women without health insurance who schedule a screening appointment on the mobile unit. Additionally, Komen funding has covered important expenses required to keep the mobile mammography unit on the road 6 days a week! This additional operational support ensures that the “bus” can also serve women who have health insurance but may otherwise be unable to visit a traditional bricks-and-mortar imaging facility. The mobile unit provides the same great care as traditional imaging facilities and even features a state-of-the-art 3D mammography equipment (Tomosynthesis).
In fact, many of the women served by UTMC’s Mobile Mammography Unit reside in rural and medically-underserved areas. In East Tennessee, these rural communities suffer much worse outcomes than their suburban peers. In rural counties, women are much more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage of a breast cancer and to die from their breast cancer. One of the main reasons we see this difference in rural areas is because of transportation barriers due to the distance one must travel to receive care.
By bringing the mobile unit to rural areas, Komen and the UT Medical Center Cancer Institute are taking powerful steps to save lives in the fight against breast cancer. These women now have a chance to be diagnosed in the earliest stages of the disease, when treatment is most effective and least burdensome.
This effort to reduce barriers and increase access to timely, quality care is key to achieving Komen’s Bold Goal of reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50% by 2026.
New Collaborations to Expand Our Impact
We are excited to have two of Komen East TN’s grant recipients come together to strategically maximize their collective impact. The Mobile Mammography Unit and the Breast Center at UT Medical Center Cancer Institute have recently been approved to directly enroll eligible patients into the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program (TBCSP). This statewide program, TBCSP, is also funded by Komen East TN, the state of Tennessee, and the federal government. Receiving this approval allows the mobile program to serve more women in need by utilizing both Komen and TBCSP funding for those that qualify. Additionally, TBCSP funding covers diagnostic tests if a screening mammogram shows a potential problem.
It’s Easy to Make an Appointment
Are you interested in receiving a mammogram on the Mobile Mammography Unit, operated by UT Medical Center Cancer Institute?
- Age 40+ (when covered by insurance, screening may begin at age 35+)
- No current breast problems (such as lump, pain, nipple discharge, burning)
- No personal history of breast cancer
- Must state during scheduling if you have breast implants (will take 2 appointment times)
- At least one year since your last screening mammogram
- Mobile stairs has a max weight limit of 300 lbs.
- Must be able to climb stairs independently
If you have health insurance, a claim will be filed with your insurance provider.
If you do not have health insurance, please call to qualify for funding.
To schedule an appointment please call the UT Breast Health Outreach Program at 865-305-9753.