The waiting room inside the BelkGives on the Go mobile mammography center was full by 10 Tuesday morning.
Women of all ages, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds were there for a screening that could potentially save their lives. The event partners Belk department stores with certified technicians from Charlotte Radiology and provides mammograms free of charge.
“Belk is wanting to stress how important annual mammograms are,” explained Beverly Burleson, a Charlotte Radiology technologist. “We can catch the early stages of cancer by a mammogram … that look like very tiny grains of salt. Which would be stage one or stage zero.”
Added technician Michelle Huneycutt: “We take the images and go back to Charlotte, (North Carolina) where we have breast specialists. They’ll read them and the patients will get the results in three weeks. Patients will also get a letter in the mail.”
For more than a year and half, the mobile mammography center has traveled through nine southeastern states. According to Belk, in that first year registered technicians performed more than 4,500 mammograms that resulted in 14 cancer diagnoses.
“We know this has definitely saved lives,” said Burleson. “Just seeing women come in a year later after surgery, and (that) they’re doing fabulous just gives you gratification.”
All the mammograms on Tuesday were at no cost to the patient, whether they had insurance or not.
The BelkGives on the Go mobile mammography center will be in Carrollton on Wednesday and Newnan on Friday. Any woman over the age of 40 with no breast concerns, who has not had a mammogram in the last 12 months or has a primary care physician is eligible for the free screening.
The mobile mammography center will only be able to schedule 32 women. Anyone wishing to make an appointment or seeing more information may call 855-655-2662 or visit www.belk.com/pink.