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Newark's mobile mammogram program aims to get more women screened for breast cancer

Newark's mobile mammogram program aims to get more women screened
Newark's mobile mammogram program aims to get more women screened 02:19

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the country and experts say the outcomes for Black women are often more deadly.

CBS New York tagged along on a new program in Newark aimed at getting more women screened.

University Hospital in Newark has gone mobile. The Mammography in Motion Bus launched in March. The goal is to increase access and screen women for breast cancer in their communities.

"So we think it's important to take it to them, where they are," said Valencia Maponya, program manager of mobile health for University Hospital Newark.

She said the rate of breast cancer detection in Newark is around 11% - nearly twice the national average.

One reason for that disparity is some women there are getting screened late.

"And as such, they're at risk. Early detection saves lives, and that's something we want to emphasize to our women -- that though it is that we may not be able to stop cancer, what we can do is to detect it early and provide appropriate treatment," Maponya said.

Annette Montero was screened in the new bus. .

In Spanish, she said it's an excellent help for women because even though she can self-examine, it's still good to come and get the proper screening.

"We've already referred 155 women to the program and we're not even a month in," said Ketlen Alsbrook, director of the Newark Department of Health.

She said Black women have a 40% higher death rate from breast cancer than white women.

"So routine screening and early detection is so critical. Because we already know that, when early detected, breast cancer has a 99 percent survival rate, compared to just 24 percent when it's in the late stages," Alsbrook said.

The new $1.2 million bus was funded by private donors. It makes stops at churches, community centers and health clinics. Insurance is not required.

Upwards of 25 women can be screened in a single day.

The bus will be getting plenty of miles on it. The goal is to screen about 4,000 women on that one bus alone over the next year.

University Hospital Newark had a mobile screening bus for more than a decade in years' past, but that program had to be scrapped during the pandemic.

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