KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Not everyone in East Tennessee has easy access to basic health screenings, like mammograms, so UT Medical Center continues to hit the road to serve them.
A brand new mobile mammography unit will serve Knox and 21 surrounding counties by bringing information, education and early detection to women who may otherwise be left out.
Many East Tennessee counties don't have mammography or 3D breast imaging equipment and the women who live there may not be able to travel to get tested.
"This is getting out in the community where people work and where they worship and spend all their time to provide screening services that might not otherwise be available," said John Bell, Director of the UTMC Cancer Insitute.
Bell said they will visit churches, workplaces, community centers and more to reach the women where they work and live. It will travel for six days a week.
The unit is already booked out for 10 months.
The key to surviving breast cancer is early detection, Bell said, so reaching those women will save lives.
UT has done mobile mammography since 1989, but it was time to upgrade the vehicle with the latest technology. Since the program started, more than 3,700 screenings have been performed and more than 27,000 miles have been traveled. This is UT's third mobile mammography unit.
The mobile mammography unit was paid for by grants and community donations.