By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Hundreds more Marshfield Clinic patients will get screened for breast cancer, thanks to a grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Representatives of the foundation stopped in Marshfield June 5 to present the Clinic’s Mobile Mammography division with a check for $24K.
Gloria Singleton-Young is the Mission Manager for the Komen Foundation’s southeast Wisconsin chapter.
“One of the reasons why this is important is because of exactly what Marshfield does,” she said. “They take their mobile coach… and they go into the rural areas where they are able to assist women with getting a mammogram, where they may or may not be able to afford it, or maybe there is fee, and there is discussion about this is what we can do and how we can help you.
“So, the grant is so they will be able to assist more women. This is something that they probably would be doing anyway, because of the commitment for the hospital or this area, but having the funds gives them the opportunity to reach more women.”
Radiologist Dr. Kristie Guite says the Komen Foundation grant will allow her department’s mobile unit to provide roughly 330 3D mammograms to underserved areas of central Wisconsin.
Dr. Guite’s program serves roughly 7,000 patients per year and sees patients from all corners of the state.
The 3D mammography technology is fairly new. Marshfield Clinic has had it for almost three years, and Dr. Guite is pushing to expand its use in her department. The challenge is that most insurance companies don’t cover it—so the Komen Foundation grant is pivotal in providing those more-accurate images.
“We have had lots of talks with them,” she said. “Insurance companies want to see that cost benefit. They want to see that it does find more breast cancers that are smaller, earlier, or treatment is cheaper, more effective, and easier.
“We know that 3D does that, it’s a matter of getting them to agree to that additional cost, because it does take more time to look at – there are many more images that are taken for a mammogram – it takes more time to acquire and of course, the equipment is more expensive.”
Marshfield Clinic Health System has three mobile mammography units.
During one-on-one mammography screening, licensed and certified female technicians conduct a thorough medical history, answer questions, and perform an exam. Images are sent by computer to radiologists in the Clinic system for analysis and results.
The mobile units have traveled to 70 of the state’s 72 counties, often stopping at businesses and public spaces.
In 2016, nearly 5,800 patients were seen in Marshfield Clinic’s mobile mammography units and 26 positive tests for breast cancer were found during those exams and subsequent testing.
Marshfield Clinic’s first digital mobile mammography unit went into service in 2007. At the time, it was the first digital mammography unit operating in the Midwest.