Letters to the Editor

FIU’s Mobile Mammography Center makes an impact

Mammography plays a key role in the early detection of breast cancer.

In a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, investigators in the largest study to date found that 3-D mammography detects more breast cancers with fewer “false alarms” than standard or digital mammograms alone. It is expected to outperform standard digital mammography in detecting small invasive breast cancers and lobular cancers, which can be the most lethal.

The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University recently purchased a 3-D Mobile Mammography Center that will make this state-of-the-art cancer screening available to South Florida’s most needy and most vulnerable communities.

Our college has an enduring and long-term commitment to improve health care in our community as evidenced by our innovative Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP™ (NHELP™) initiative. This unique program sends teams of physicians, medical, nursing, social work, and law students into Miami’s most underserved areas.

Medical students learn to appreciate the social determinants of health while helping families improve their understanding and access to care.

The statistics are alarming. Some of the communities we serve through NHELP™ have the highest rates in the nation of breast cancer detected in late stages: 46-59%. The national average is 39%, the average for the rest of Florida is 35%.

In addition to free 3-D mammograms, women will have access to examinations, diagnosis and treatment. By increasing access to breast cancer screening to our NHELP™ members we anticipate that we will see a reduction in the incidence of advanced breast cancer, and thus mortality.

Pedro “Joe” Greer, M.D.

Carolyn Runowicz, M.D.

John A. Rock, M.D.

FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Miami