An important breast cancer screening test is available to women across Alaska.
What is Mobile Mammography?
A mobile mammogram is simply a 2D or 3D digital screening mammogram that is performed inside the PIC mobile mammography coach. The coach is 34 feet long, self-contained, and heated, with a waiting and changing area for patients. Mammography is performed using the Hologic Dimensions Full-Field Digital Mammography machine, with a complete exam taking about 15 minutes.
Prior to a mobile mammogram, patients schedule their exam by calling 212-3151. All scheduling is handled by friendly PIC staff who carefully screen the patient to make sure mammography is appropriate. A quick registration is done as well, which generates a unique number that attaches patient demographic information to the digital images stored in the Coach.
Mammography is the diagnostic tool for the early detection of breast cancer, the leading cancer diagnosed in women in America. In 2016, it was estimated that 246,660 women nationwide would be diagnosed with breast cancer, causing 40,450 deaths. In Alaska, approximately 500 women will get this diagnosis, causing 70 deaths.
Early detection and prompt treatment are the best assurance for survival. Providence Imaging Center, in conjunction with the American College of Radiology and Society for Breast Imaging, recommend annual screening mammography starting at age 40. This results in the most lives saved from breast cancer.
Who Can Have a Mobile Mammogram?
PIC’s Digital Mobile Mammography screening is applicable for women age 40 years or older without specific breast concerns.
Screening mammography is NOT applicable for women who:
- Are pregnant or have breastfed within the last year
- Have symptoms such as a dominant lump/mass/lesion or nipple discharge that is clear or bloody
- Have a personal history of breast cancer
- Have had a stereo or ultrasound-guided biopsy in the past year
- Are due for special follow-up for a recent abnormal mammogram
Contact our helpful mammography schedulers at (907) 212-3151 (or toll-free at 888 458-3151) to see if a mobile mammogram is right for you!
What Kind of Paperwork is Involved?
All scheduling is handled by friendly PIC staff who carefully screen the patient to make sure mammography is appropriate. A quick registration is done as well, which generates a unique number that attaches patient demographic information to the digital images stored in the Coach. These images are then uploaded at PIC and read by our board certified radiologists. Results are sent to patient and ordering provider in a timely manner. Funding is also available for women who are uninsured or underinsured through the State of Alaska’s Breast and Cervical Health Check Program; call (800) 410-6266 for more information.
Results of Your Mobile Mammogram
The results of your screening mammogram will be sent to the health care provider you indicated within several business days after your appointment.
Providence Imaging Center will also send you your mammogram results within a couple weeks after your appointment.
Call the Providence Imaging Center nurse at (907) 212-3607 with any questions about your mammography procedure or results.
Where Does the Mobile Coach Go?
Currently, the PIC Mobile Mammography coach visits more than 35 sites annually. PIC has provided mammography to a service area extending from Talkeetna to the Kenai Peninsula as well as to several communities along Alaska’s Marine Highway Ferry System including Valdez and Cordova.
We also visit several local businesses and schools in the Anchorage Area. A site images 15-20 patients per day, and may take several days.
If you are interested in having the Coach come to your business or organization, please contact our Mobile Team at (907) 212-4984.
How To Set Up Your Own Mobile Site Visit
Setting up your own Mobile site is not difficult. There is no charge for the Coach to come to your business or organization. Simply call us to set up a date that works, and we will evaluate where to park and go over a few simple guidelines about scheduling, and how to best advertise the event.
The parking space needs to be wheelchair accessible. Please note that the walkways need to be clear of snow and ice, and have appropriate ramps if there are rough changes in elevation.
Scheduling information needed includes patient name and date of birth, clinician, previous mammogram location/year, patient’s work and home phone numbers (for registration purposes). Please note, we cannot do the exam without a clinician. Those women who are in need of a clinician can call the Providence Physician Referral line at (907) 212-4900 for assistance.
We need a minimum of 15 (20 for areas outside of Anchorage) women on the schedule in order to visit. We can screen up to 23 (25 for areas outside of Anchorage) women per day with our Mobile. If you think you will have more than 20 (25 for areas outside of Anchorage), it would be better to schedule two consecutive days. We would like begin at 9 a.m. (we will arrive on site at 7 a.m.) or later and have the last appointment no later than 4:45 p.m.
Are you a business or organization that would like to provide the same high-quality digital screening mammogram to your employees/employees’ dependents that they can get at Providence Imaging Center (PIC)?
PIC’s Mobile Mammography Program has brought screening mammography to hundreds of women who might not otherwise get this critical test. PIC purchased its new Mobile Mammography Coach with its Hologic Dimensions full-field digital mammography unit in Fall 2016.