Mobile Mammography

Taking lifesaving screenings to the community

While most Sundays for Sherrell Allen are reserved for church and family, one Sunday last spring also included a quick mammogram that may have saved her life. Parkland’s mobile mammography van was parked outside Cornerstone Baptist Church in South Dallas, and Sherrell took advantage of the free mammogram offer.

“I know that I would probably have not gotten a mammogram if Parkland had not brought their van to my church,” said Sherrell. “When you don’t have insurance or transportation, it can be hard to go get the care you need.”

Working with the American Cancer Society, Parkland’s Cancer Prevention and Intervention Program provides breast cancer screenings to underserved women throughout Dallas County. Parkland travels to health fairs, churches and Community Oriented Primary Care health centers, providing free screening mammograms to almost 7,000 women each year.

Caregivers on the van provide education and support, as well as the actual X-rays.

“We let women know that Parkland is there for them,” said Evelyn Hairston, patient navigator at the Parkland’s breast center. “We talk about our financial services, and we discuss breast self-exams and how often they should have a screening mammogram.”

And screening tests are critically important to find breast cancer early, when the chances of survival are highest.

“Without the Parkland mobile van, I know there would be a lot of women in poor parts of Dallas having breast cancer,” said Sherrell, “and unfortunately it’s going to be found at a later stage.”

Sherrell is particularly grateful for the mobile van because her mammogram results were abnormal, and she required follow up care. Women like Sherrell are an inspiration to Evelyn.

“Every day I come across a patient who really needs our help, and I’m so grateful that Parkland is able to provide that for her,” she said.

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