It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it is the perfect time to plan a free mammogram from the Scan Van.
The Scan Van Program, operated by non-profit organization Project Renewal, was present at Calvary Hospital on Tuesday, September 30, and will be visiting different locations in the Bronx from now until Sunday, November 23.
The country’s first mobile mammography and radiology clinic plans to visit several health clinics, churches and homeless shelters to provide low-income men and women with the same treatment they would receive at any cancer center, at no cost.
Scan Van, which screens about 5,000 women annually, provides clinical breast exams, mammograms, tuberculosis tests and health education for uninsured and inadequately insured men and women 40 years and older in the five boroughs, while guaranteeing them that they will not receive a bill.
“Under-served populations continue to experience significantly higher morbidity and mortality as a result of breast cancer,” said founder and director Mary Solomon, who originally launched the program in 1987.
“We strive to provide medically under-served men and (mostly) women with access to convenient free breast cancer screening and education at no out of pocket cost to the patient.”
According to the Scan Van Program, the New York State Department requires women to obtain a prescription or referral from their primary doctor in order to get a proper screening. The Scan Van welcomes all women and men, insured and uninsured, while waiving all co-payments and deductibles for those with insurance.
With considerate funding and donations from Komen Greater NYC, Avon Breast Care Fund, Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert, Richmond County Savings Bank, NYS Cancer Services, the Scan Van Program has the ability to travel throughout the five boroughs, Nassau County and even Suffolk County to spread awareness and to give woman and men a test that could save their life.
“It is our role to treat as many people as we can throughout the greater New York area,” said Gina Cintron, who has driven the Scan Van for 18 years. “Those patients who are uninsured are not blessed with this kind of an opportunity, so we make it possible for them to get tested and properly cared for if detected.”
The Scan Van’s patient navigators contact patients with abnormal findings, who will contact the patient’s primary care physician, provide images and reports and arrange a diagnostic appointment with an appropriate provider.
“Although mammography usage in the country is on the rise overall, the under-served are more likely to not receive cancer screenings on a regular basis, making it more likely that they discover their cancers in it’s later stages,” said Mary Solomon.
“The purpose of the Scan Van Program is striving to provide for the portion of the population that doesn’t have the privilege to be screened and scanned appropriately and often.”
The Scan Van will next be located at the Bronx County Supreme Court (851 Grand Concourse) on Friday, October 3 at 9 a.m.
To schedule an appointment to be screened in the Scan Van, which is required, call 1-800-564-6868.