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Providing Access To Mammograms For The Uninsured

Mammograms are a critical component in diagnosing breast cancer. For those without insurance, having access to this service can be lifesaving. At CHRISTUS St. Mary’s Clinic, both The Rose and MD Anderson offer mobile mammograms free of charge to patients, serving about 140 patients a month. “The Clinic has a two-month waiting list and an almost 100% show rate for mammograms,” Sister Rosanne Popp, M.D., St. Mary’s Clinic Medical Director, said.

In The Rose’s recent annual report, it was stated that in the last seven years, all women in whom Stage 4 breast cancer was discovered were uninsured with two of those women coming from St. Mary’s Clinic. “In May of this year, we had 158 mammograms with 23 of those showing abnormal and needing additional diagnosis, which is about a 15% abnormal rate,” Popp said. “Of those 23, two to three will probably progress to biopsy.  We typically have three to four breast cancer diagnoses a year.”

During a mobile mammogram day this month at St. Mary’s Clinic, Maria and Doris were utilizing the service. Maria, who is in her sixties, had previously used the mobile mammogram service several times. “It’s really easy for me to access it, and I like the way I am treated during the service,” she said. For Doris, 47, it was her first time to use the service. “In the past, I would have to go to The Rose building or to MD Anderson. I now live near St. Mary’s Clinic, and it’s closer to get my mammogram done.”

In addition to St. Mary’s Clinic, mobile mammograms are also provided at CHRISTUS Point of Light Clinic in Dickinson.

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