Mammovan: funding the fight to defeat breast cancer | News
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Dr. Rachel Brem is Director of Breast Imaging and Intervention Center. The Mammovan is her "big" baby.
Dr. Brem spoke to us on Wednesday as part of the 20th anniversary of Buddy Check 9 and before the screenings at the mammovan set for Thursday. It's the 17th anniversary of the Mammovan.
"Almost all cancers that were detected on the mammovan have been early stage curable breast cancers. We're proud of the teamwork that really results in curing lives. The Mammovan has become an important part of our community where we try to break down every language barrier, working with community leaders and free mammography so it's one of the longest functioning mobile mammography programs in the country. We're very proud," Dr. Brem told us.
Mammography is step one but if something is found on the van and if you're uninsured what does the Brem Foundation do?
Dr. Brem, the foundation's namesake, said, "We partnered with others to give women what they need. We really try to decrease the anxiety, get earliest diagnosis and achieve an cure. We also do education to underserved communities as well as to physicians to optimize breast cancer care across the country."
Brem has talked about cutting edge breast cancer detection is individualized imaging in many speeches, saying it is not one size fits all. She speaks specifically of women who have dense breasts.
"Mammography is wonderful. All women over the age of 40 should be getting a mammogram every year but it isn't as effective in certain women, specifically women with dense breasts where breast cancer is white on the mammogram and breast tissue is white. So the lack of contrast makes finding cancers a little harder.
"Now we have solutions for that at George Washington Medical Faculty Associates. We have 3D ultrasound, which finds 30% more cancers in this group of women where not only is mammography less effective somewhat, but their at increased risk for breast cancer. We also have MRI and breast specific imaging for the highest risk women, those women with the gene or a huge lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. We have different solutions for different women based on what that individual woman needs," said Brem
3D is not on mammovan right now but that will change and dollars make a difference.
"So we need a new mammovan so that we can incorporate the absolute most cutting edge technology. And Park Pink is a partnership which helps us raise the funds to get a new mammovan so we can have 3D mammography and hopefully, 3D ultrasound on the mammovan as well. So I'm grateful for our community, D.C., that's helping us achieve this very important goal," stated Brem.
With Park Pink, you use the Park Mobile on your phone to pay for your parking. During the month of October you can come in at different levels, silver, platinum, gold and pink up to $100 and make a donation and it all goes to George Washington Medical Faculty Associates and mammogram program.