Although any woman who is medically eligible is welcome on the van, priority populations include women who are low-income, elderly, immigrant, and non-English speaking.
In partnership with community-based organizations and neighborhood health centers, the van is on the road three to four days per week year-round, serving all Boston neighborhoods as well as other towns, including Natick, Waltham, Quincy, and Brockton, Mass. Skilled, board-certified mammography technologists from Dana-Farber perform the exams and films are interpreted by board-certified radiologists with extensive experience dedicated to mammography. During their appointment, patients are able to speak with a health educator about the importance of being screened for breast cancer and steps they can take to reduce their risk of developing the disease.
By bringing Dana-Farber's high-quality services directly to the neighborhoods in which women live and work, the van breaks down cultural, linguistic, financial, and logistical barriers to care and makes mammograms more accessible to those least likely to obtain one.
In addition to its central purpose of providing breast cancer screening and education, Dana-Farber's Mammography Van serves as a point of entry into the health care system at large, and provides an opportunity to connect women to primary care.
Women who lack a primary care provider are connected to our partnering health centers that are accepting new patients, and women who lack health insurance are encouraged to apply for coverage through the MassHealth Connector.
Ultimately, the program seeks to decrease breast cancer morbidity and mortality among medically underserved women and increase survival rates for those diagnosed with breast cancer.
Dana-Farber's Mammography Van provides a convenient and effective way for women to continually monitor their breast health. By referring patients to primary care physicians and health insurance coverage and by ensuring patients receive timely and quality follow-up services, the van is helping women and their families achieve a higher level of overall health care.
The mammography van's success would not be made possible without the generosity of a growing community of individual, corporate, and foundation supporters.