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More Than Pink – Community Impact
2018 Knoxville Race for the Cure, Community Impact:
Chasity Pennington’s Journey:
When Chasity Pennington learned from a neighbor that UT Medical Center’s Mobile Mammography Unit would be in her rural East Tennessee town, she didn’t think she could participate because she had no health insurance and couldn’t afford the exam. But at the time, that was ok by her because she wasn’t looking forward to the screening anyway. She admits that being uninsured and not quite 40 years old gave her an excuse to put it off. And it didn’t help matters that her only experience with breast cancer was a scary one. A family member died of the disease more than 10 years earlier and Pennington remembers how quickly her first cousin’s health declined because it was diagnosed so late.
However, a caring and persistent neighbor knew that the Breast Health Outreach Program at UT Medical Center had grant funds in place to help women with no insurance. She called about the screening dates in their small town and learned that one of the dates was a few weeks after Pennington turned 40 – the recommended age to begin annual screenings. She says she would otherwise not have received a mammogram in July 2012 that led to her cancer diagnosis and she is thankful to the Breast Health Outreach Program for making that screening possible.
Mobile Mammography Unit:
Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) provided breast services in all 16 counties of the Komen East Tennessee Knoxville region service area. The program continues to serve industries, a major place of employment for low-income under-served women, as well as other settings where our target population may be found: government housing authorities, churches, senior centers, community centers and clinics.
Onsite digital screenings were provided for 2,928 women with the UT Medical Center Mobile Mammography Unit. Komen East Tennessee grant funds covered the cost of 211 of these screenings for uninsured or under-insured women.
New Technology available on the Mobile Mammography Unit:
In November 2017, a 3D tomosynthesis unit was installed on University Breast Center’s mobile mammography unit, making it the only mobile unit in the East TN region to offer 3D mammograms.
All imaging taken on the mobile unit is read by the same radiologists that review imaging on site at University Breast Center. Since the 3D imaging provides a clearer picture of the breast, the recall rate is lower, which is great for patients in rural areas who may have challenges traveling to University Breast Center at UT Medical Center’s main campus in Knoxville for additional diagnostic testing.