Mobile 3D mammogram unit, personalized care helping reduce breast cancer death rates

A new Center for Disease Control study shows what FIU has already known for some time: personalized medical treatments combined with community outreach help decrease breast cancer death rates.

The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine’s Linda Fenner 3D Mobile Mammography Center (LFMMC), the first mobile 3D mammogram unit in South Florida, has been providing both for women without access to proper health care in Miami-Dade County since its launch in October 2014.

Thanks to connections made with individuals, organizations and communities throughout Miami-Dade County, the LFMMC is increasing access to breast cancer screenings for underserved women. Throughout the county, the team provides personalized outreach, health education and support services that assist patients through breast cancer detection and treatment.

Between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, the LFMMC performed 910 mammograms in various locations, including community health centers, shelters for homeless women and NeighborhoodHELP sites in Miami Gardens, Hialeah and Allapatah.

“We’ve developed a strong presence in these communities, and we have their trust,” says Dr. Pedro “Joe” Greer, associate dean for community engagement at HWCOM. “We’ve developed an innovative and new type of delivery center, which is household center care that takes care of the entire household.”

Of those mammograms performed, more than 10 percent — or 93 — were abnormal and required additional diagnostic testing, including 22 biopsies. Eight women were diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ, the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer.

These early diagnoses, which greatly increase the chances for survival from breast cancer, show the value of the services provided by the LFMMC and its 3D technology.

3D mammography is a new technology that has helped revolutionize the fight against cancer. Whereas traditional mammography obtains just a single image, 3D mammography uses high-powered computing to convert multiple digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers to build a three-dimensional mammogram.

These layers give doctors a clearer image of breast masses, making it easier for them to detect breast cancer.

And early detection is just the beginning. Through the LFMMC’s Breast Health Navigator program, a “navigator” assists patients beyond free screenings by helping them wade through the complexities of the health care system.

The navigator’s role includes guiding patients through all their treatment options and explaining all the advantages and disadvantages involved and providing emotional support to the patient and family.

“We have the infrastructure to follow through, walk them through the entire process,” Dr. Greer says.

via FIU News

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