Mobile mammography attracts diverse populations, has lower rates of adherence

Mobile mammography, meant to reach women without access to cancer center visits, has become increasingly popular, but lacking evidence in comparing results to in-person clinic visits. In a study to be published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, researchers compared interactions with a mobile mammography van to in-person cancer center visits.

Social disparities often prevent women from receiving mammography, but the mobile van can bring care to the patient. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a mobile mammography van in terms of follow-up adherence, biopsies performed, cancer detection rate and sociodemographic variables. A total of 1,433 mobile examinations and 1,434 in-person exams were included in the comparison.

Results showed patients visiting the cancer center were significantly older than patients visiting the mobile van. The mobile van had higher rates of black or Hispanic patients and uninsured patients. In-person visits had a lower recall rate (13.3 percent) compared to the van (15.9 percent). Additionally, patients seen on the van were less likely to return for more scans.

"By identifying these characteristics, we can develop programs and materials that meet these populations' needs and behaviors, ultimately increasing mammography screening and follow-up rates among underserved populations," said researchers, led by Elizabeth Stanley of the Department of Radiology at the Medical University of South Carolina.