Mobile station to screen for cancer today

The mobile mammography van will make a stop at Eastern’s campus today.

Patty Peterson, a public relations person for the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, said women with a family history of breast cancer should be tested along with anyone around the ages of 35-40.

“The van travels to communities in the seven or eight county area,” she said. “It travels to areas surrounding Coles County.”

Libby Ard, a clerical support partner and one of the van drivers, said people getting tested have to be at least 35 years old because that is when women should have their baseline mammography with a yearly one once they reach the age of 40.

“We go to Eastern every year around this time,” Ard said. “Sarah Bush also has a clinic (in Charleston) we go to once a month.”

Staff and faculty at Eastern, along with area residents around this age, can be tested and 15 people have already made appointments.

The van will take walk-ons and use digital technology to test women.

These mammograms are taken back to the hospital for a radiologist to read.

The Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center has had a mobile unit for about 12 years and has five different technicians with 40 years of experience along with serving more than 1,000 women in 11 plus counties annually.

“We’ve caught a lot of cancer by doing mammograms on or off the bus,” Ard said.

“There’s a lot of women who don’t do monthly breast exams – there’s a lot of tissues and lumps you can’t feel.”

Ard also said that if a mammogram catches someone’s breast cancer sooner, they could be treated sooner.

She said there have been a lot of cases where women say they would not have been tested and their cancer would have been caught if the van had not come to their town.

The van will be parked in front of the bell tower from around 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Heather Holm can be reached

at 581-7942 or [email protected]