For 20 years, Neva Harrow, 63 of Claremont, has been vigilant about getting
a mammogram screening for breast cancer every July when the Catawba Valley
Medical Center (CVMC)
Mobile Mammogram Unit comes to McCreary Modern, the furniture manufacturer where she works.
“Almost every year we have had at least one female employee diagnosed
with breast cancer after having a mammogram on the mobile unit,”
says Janet Greer, McCreary Modern’s Nurse Practitioner. “We
have about 1,000 employees and half of them are women. We have an excellent
working relationship with CVMC and it’s so much more convenient
for our ladies to have regular screenings when the unit visits one of
our six plants.”
Unfortunately, this year, Neva’s screening showed something suspicious
that needed to be addressed.
“The radiologist saw a tiny spot, smaller than a pea, that needed
further testing,” Neva said. “After having more diagnostic
Catawba Valley Imaging Center, I learned that the tumor was cancerous and I ended up needing a lumpectomy.”
Neva is encouraged to know the cancer was caught at such an early stage
and did not spread to her lymph nodes. To kill any cancer that might remain,
she is also scheduled to have
radiationtherapy treatments at CVMC’s
Comprehensive Cancer Center.
During October – National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Neva’s
story helps underscore the importance of getting regular breast cancer
screenings even for women like herself who have no family history of the
disease. She says, “I cannot stress enough how important annual
mammograms are. It just takes about 15 minutes and, it helps too, that
we get to see the same face every year. Natalie Williams, the radiology
technician on the mobile unit has developed a great rapport with the women
she screens and you can tell that she cares about getting an accurate
Natalie has been a mammographer for over 30 years and is excited about
the availability of even better life-saving technology now offered on
the bright pink mobile unit CVMC commissioned recently. The new diagnostic
center on wheels replaces the prior unit that served the area for over
two decades and is equipped with 3D technology, also known as tomosynthesis.
“We are excited to help make a greater difference in the fight against
breast cancer by offering advanced
3D technology that is proven to be more accurate in detecting breast cancer particularly
in those with dense breast tissue,” says Natalie. “We often
hear how hard it is for busy, working women to find time for medical appointments
and the mobile breast center offers convenience and privacy without sacrificing
the level of service that they would receive in an office.”
Current guidelines recommend annual screening mammograms for all women,
beginning at age 40 and are typically covered 100% by health insurance.
A family history of breast cancer can also be a factor, so women are encouraged
to consult their primary care provider about recommendations for when
and what type of mammogram is most appropriate.
Funding for the CVMC mobile mammography program was made possible through the
Catawba Medical Foundation and reflects the organization’s longstanding commitment to women’s
health issues and breast cancer education. To schedule a screening day
at your facility or to book an appointment at one of the locations most
convenient to you, call the
CVMC Health First Center at 828.485.2300.