Intensive Training for Nurses Staffing the Newest Mobile Scan Van on Long Island

Breast cancer is the one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers and the second leading cause of cancer death among women living in the United States. Mammograms can detect cancer at early stages, when it is often the most treatable. However, many women are unable to benefit from this method of early detection due to transportation, scheduling, and financial barriers to getting this lifesaving screening.

Through grants from the New York State Department of Health, Stony Brook University Cancer Center will operate a mobile mammography van equipped with the newest 3-D technology. The van will travel across Long Island providing easy access to no-cost mammograms for women 40 years of age and older, who otherwise might not get them. Additionally, registered nurses will perform manual breast exams and provide information about risk reduction through lifestyle changes.

In preparation for the inaugural screening event, registered nurses from Stony Brook Hospital underwent rigorous training led by Eileen Pillitteri, Program Manager of the Maurer Foundation. The training detailed the components of the breast as an organ, the stages of breast development, and the growth of disease within the breast. The course delved deeper into early detection methods, with a focus on the MammaCare method of breast examination. In order to enhance patient education, the nurses analyzed the factors that influence breast cancer risk, and how modifications to our lifestyles can have a major impact on our breast health.