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New Mobile Mammography Unit Offers Residents of Rural Northern Louisiana First-Ever Access to Free Breast Cancer Screening Exams
Date:4/1/2009

Health information exchange technology gives patients initial breast cancer screening results within minutes of exams in high-tech mobile unit

FARMERVILLE, La., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A breakthrough partnership is bringing free digital mammograms for the first time to over-40 women who live in the rural parishes of northern Louisiana.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090401/NY92660)

Starting today, a new mobile mammography unit will visit Union General Hospital in Farmerville, Louisiana, where mammograms have not been available. The mobile unit transmits digital images to radiologists who perform an initial screening and then notify patients if they need a follow-up exam by another physician.

Screening for breast cancer through mammography reduces mortality due to breast cancer by approximately 20-25 percent over 10 years among woman aged 40 years and over, according to 2008 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2006, 24 percent of women in Louisiana aged 40 years or older reported not having had a mammogram within the previous two years.

"With a brief visit to the mobile unit, a woman living in rural Louisiana can now have her mammogram read and receive a report while she is still dressing," said Jamie Welch, the Chief Information Officer for the Louisiana Rural Health Information Exchange (LARHIX). "Most women in Northern Louisiana parishes have never had a similar opportunity to detect breast cancer early and protect their health."

The mobile mammogram unit is the result of a partnership between LARHIX, the Louisiana Rural Hospital Coalitio
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SOURCE The Louisiana Rural Health Information Exchange
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