Mammography comes to your neighborhood
BY AMBER SMITH
Maybe you’ve seen Upstate’s big blue mobile mammography van. It travels throughout Central New York, a rolling billboard of sorts that urges women to get screened for breast cancer.
The so-called “mammo van” is especially meaningful to Kimberly Copeland, 43, of Verona.
She turned 40 during the pandemic and scheduled her first mammogram for September 2021, when the 45-foot van was stationed at Vernon Town Hall, near where she worked as a property manager.
“The ladies on the mammo van, they were fantastic,” she remembers. “They made me feel incredibly comfortable.” Her mammogram was on a Monday. Results came two days later: A mass was discovered that warranted further imaging.
Copeland came to the Upstate campus in downtown Syracuse for additional imaging and a biopsy. When her gynecologist in Oneida received the lab report, she told Copeland she needed an oncologist. “I said I really like the Upstate people,” and she made an appointment.
Surgery to remove both breasts took place in December 2021 with breast surgeon Lisa Lai, MD, and plastic surgeon Prashant Upadhyaya, MD. Then Copeland had chemotherapy from February through April 2022.
“They saved my life,” she says, crediting Upstate providers, “and it all started with the mammo van.”
This article appears in the summer 2023 issue of Cancer Care magazine.