McLeod mobile unit offers mammograms

Nefateda Harlee, Staff Writer

The McLeod Mobile Mammogram arrived at Francis Marion University (FMU) on Monday, Feb. 25 to provide breast cancer screenings staff members and students who scheduled an appointment.

McLeod Regional Hospital purchased the mobile unit in 2006, and after a unanimous vote by its panel of trustees, the McLeod Foundation agreed to take its services on the road in 2007.

The mobile mammogram is open to all who want to receive an evaluation of their breast health. The McLeod Mammogram Unit offers services to anyone who has insurance or another method of payment.

Johanna Black, head of McLeod Radiology Department, expressed enthusiasm about the progress out of the program.

“We always have a good turn out from Francis Marion,” Black said. “The efficiency of the mobile unit has increased access through the Pee Dee regions, which cover 12 counties.”

According to Black, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer found in South Carolina women; therefore, she advises every female to receive a mammogram because there is no such thing as being too safe.

Mammograms are especially designed to detect cancer in women who show no signs or symptoms of the disease. Black explained that receiving a mammogram can lower the number of deaths from breast cancer.

A mammogran is an essential procedure for women ages 40 or older. Although breast cancer is most commonly found in older women, Black said no one is too young or old to be affected by the disease.

“Knowing gives you power,” Black said. “That is why it is best to get tested. The sooner you know if you have the unwelcomed visitor of breast cancer in your body, the faster you can act.”

The McLeod Mobile Mammogram travels once a year, but patients may schedule an appointment with McLeod Regional Hospital at any time. According to Black, receiving a mammography inside McLeod’s mobile unit is just as safe and accurate as having the procedure done inside its hospitals.