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Mobile mammogram screening headed to Soldotna

Posted: March 27, 2014 - 9:56pm  |  Updated: March 27, 2014 - 9:59pm

Providence Imaging Center is bringing mammography screening to Soldotna on Saturday.

The Mobile Mammography Program — the “mamm van” — will be parked at PIC’s Soldotna location along the Kenai Spur Highway beginning at 9 a.m.

“The mobile mamm van will just be parked out in the front parking lot, so it’ll be hard to miss,” Liz Hartvigson, Central Peninsula marketing representative, said.

Screening takes about 15 minutes and women should preregister by calling 907-212-3151 or 888-458-3151.

“There is still opportunity available for people to sign up, and we would love for them to do that,” she said.

The mamm van provides screenings for women who are 40 years old or older and due for their annual screenings or are getting mammograms for the first time, Hartvigson said.

“If a woman has had breast cancer or has a history of breast cancer where they have had to have what we call a diagnostic breast imaging or breast ultrasound or breast MRI, then this situation doesn’t work for them,” Hartvigson said.

Paulette Compton, PIC general manager, said questions about lumps, discharge and family history of breast cancer are asked during the registration process to ensure the woman only needs a screening.

PIC tries to provide screening in Soldotna at least twice a year.

It was down in November 2013 for the Kenai Peninsula College Community Health Fair and about 27 women utilized the service, Hartvigson said.

The Soldotna PIC clinic doesn’t have mammography screening; it has MRI, CT and ultrasound capabilities, Hartvigson said.

Compton said the van houses a digital machine just like the one at the center in Anchorage.

Businesses can also schedule to have the van available for a day or event as long as it will serve about 10-15 women to it worthwhile, Compton said.

About a week after screening, Compton said results and recommendations are forwarded to the women and their providers.

The screening is billed through insurance however assistance for women who qualify financially is available through the Alaska’s Breast and Cervical Health Care Check program, Compton said.

Last year the van saw a record number of women, and Compton said PIC anticipates doing even more screenings this year.

“It’s much more convenient for women,” she said.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com

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