Mount Sinai's Digital 3D Mammography Van Rolls Into New York City
New Program Designed to Break Down Barriers to Breast Cancer Screening
Mount Sinai Hospital has launched the Mount Sinai Mobile Mammography Program (MMP), bringing essential breast cancer detection services and education to women in New York City. It is the only van equipped with digital breast tomosynthesis – high-quality, state-of-the-art, digital 3D mammography technology -- serving women in all five boroughs (information about first two screening events are below).
Digital breast tomosynthesis produces images of breast tissue in one-millimeter-thin layers, and allows radiologists to better detect breast tissue abnormalities. The Mount Sinai van also is equipped with an information system that incorporates a breast cancer risk assessment tool, and makes intake and follow-up communications available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French and Haitian Creole.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Early detection of breast cancer by mammography can save lives. The American College of Radiology recommends that women age 40 and older get screened for breast cancer with mammography ever year.
According to Laurie Margolies, MD, System Chief of Breast Imaging, Mount Sinai Health System and Professor of Radiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai: “Annual screening mammography beginning at age 40 has been shown to save lives. Our goal is to help women understand the benefits of mammographic screening and early detection. We want to break down as many barriers as possible, and encourage women to participate in screening mammography. By reaching women right in their communities, Mount Sinai’s Mobile Mammography Program helps reduce disparities in breast cancer detection and survival in those disproportionately burdened by this disease.”
One out of four women age 40 and older in New York City is not regularly screened for breast cancer. (1)Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, except for skin cancers, and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women. (2) New York State has one of the highest breast cancer incidence rates in the country (3) in New York City alone, there are approximately 6,000 new cases of breast cancer each year, and more than 1,000 breast cancer-related deaths. (4)
Minority women face significant disparities in breast cancer screening and outcomes. Nationally, less than 50 percent of all Asian, Latina, and Native American women aged 40 and older had a mammogram within the past year.(5) While black women have the highest screening rate among minority women- at 55 percent - they also have the highest breast cancer mortality.(5)
Minority women face interwoven cultural, language, social, and economic barriers that prevent them from obtaining mammograms regularly which leads to poorer breast cancer-related outcomes. Commonly documented barriers include lack of health insurance, limited English proficiency, fatalistic beliefs about breast cancer, and lack of breast cancer screening knowledge.(6, 7)
To address these issues, the Mobile Mammography Program provides culturally targeted educational workshops discussing the importance of mammography screenings. These are offered in multiple languages including English, Spanish, French, Mandarin and Cantonese. Mount Sinai also offers workshops tailored to the Muslim and LGBTQ communities.
Multi-lingual patient navigators with access to language interpreters are available to assist participants make screening appointments and access follow-up services.
The program is made possible with funds from Health Research, Inc. (HRI) and the State of New York.
“By bringing screening mammography to New Yorkers via this mobile unit and using culturally-based education, we will help save lives,” said Dr. Margolies. “This is our overarching goal. Yearly screening mammography reduces, as much as possible, a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer. Mount Sinai’s new ‘care on wheels’ will make it much easier for many New Yorkers to be screened. We are humbled and honored to play a role in improving women’s health, and to be welcomed by so many community organizations that are hosting Mount Sinai screening and education events.”
- The first Manhattan screening event will take place on Thursday, October 25 in Times Square at the New York Health Care Safety Net Committee Health Fair with the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 137 West 48th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.
- The second screening event will take place on Saturday, October 27 at the Safe Family Fun Fair in Clove Lakes Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1150 Clove Road in Staten Island. Hosted by Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plus, the New York City Parks Department, and District Attorney Michael E. McMahon.
- Screening mammography services for insured patients typically have no out-of-pocket cost. New York State residents who don’t have insurance may be eligible for screenings through the New York State Cancer Services Program if they meet income and age eligibility criteria. 1-866-442-CANCER (2262).
- To track van location and schedule a community event: phone: (844) EZMAMMO (396-2666). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Websites: www.mountsinai.org/mobilemammography (English); www.mountsinai.org/mamografiamovil (Spanish)
(2) New York State Department of Health. Cancer incidence and mortality for New York City, 2011-2015. https://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/cancer/registry/vol1/v1rnyc.htm
(3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. United State Cancer Statistics Data Visualizations. Female Breast, All Ages, All Races/Ethnicities, Female Rate per 100,000 Women. https://gis.cdc.gov/Cancer/USCS/DataViz.html
(4) New York State Department of Health. Female breast cancer incidence and mortality by year, New York City, 1975-2015. https://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/cancer/registry/table2/tb2breastnyc.htm
(5) American Cancer Society. Breast cancer facts & figures 2017-2018. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2017. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/breast-cancer-facts-and-figures/breast-cancer-facts-and-figures-2017-2018.pdf
(6) Gray TF, Cudjoe J, Murphy J, Thorpe JW, Wenzel J, Han H. Disparities in cancer screening practices among minority and underrepresented populations. Seminars in Oncology Nursing. 2017;33(2):184-198.
(7) Moy B, Park ER, Feibelmann S, Chiang S, Weissman JS. Barriers to repeat mammography: cultural perspectives of African‐American, Asian, and Hispanic women. Psycho-oncology. 2005;15(7):623-634.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.
Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties.