Susan G. Komen San Diego funds grant for La Maestra Community Health Centers, a San Diego-based Federally Qualified Health Center in conjunction with Community Health Imaging Centers to launch San Diego’s first Mobile Mammography Coach this week to kickoff National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The organizations were joined by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and First Lady Katherine Stuart to celebrate this momentous occasion.
Free on-site mobile mammography and clinical breast exams will be available for qualified women in San Diego and Imperial Counties ages 40 and older. If a woman under 40 needs assistance, she will be directed to a program that is able to provide the help she needs. All participants will also receive a primary medical placement and be linked to a medical home, which is important for following up each year. Additional breast health information will also be available. The Mobile Mammography Coach is staffed by a culturally and linguistically capable team and is equipped with state-of-the-art full-field digital mammography equipment and 3D Tomosynthesis, which is less invasive or expensive than CT scanning and creates a three dimensional view that doctors can examine in a virtual environment so suspected tumors and masses in the breast can be detected with a higher degree of accuracy.
According to data from the 2013 California Cancer Register, San Diego County had the second highest number of expected new breast cancer cases and the second highest number of expected breast cancer deaths in the state of California. The Susan G Komen San Diego 2015 Community Profile reports breast cancer incidence rates in San Diego were higher (128.6 per 100,000 women) than in the U.S. as a whole (122.1) and the State of California (122.0). The report also indicates the late-stage incidence rates in San Diego (46.1) are somewhat higher than the rates in the U.S. as a whole (43.7) and in the State of California as a whole (43.5).
By providing services through the Mobile Mammography Coach, La Maestra Community Health Centers (LMCHC) will be improving access to screening services and reducing the number of late-stage breast cancer diagnoses by reaching women where they live, work, shop, worship and play. Many of the most underserved women in San Diego face significant barriers to care including transportation, lack of child care and language barriers. LMCHC will address this by providing culturally and linguistically appropriate mobile mammography services in the most underserved communities across San Diego and Imperial Counties.
In addition to the major sponsorship support from the Susan G. Komen San Diego, LMCHC has received additional sponsorship support from the American Cancer Society, San Diego Gas & Electric, Walmart, the Kroger Foundation, as well as KyXy 96.5 FM and Energy 103.7 FM radio stations. During October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, LMCHC will provide breast cancer screenings and breast health education services at venues in San Diego County. For more info and a full list of mammography venues, please visit www.lamaestra.org.