April 18, 2016

UAMS Receives Grants for Breast Cancer Prevention, Detection

April 18, 2016 | Women in Arkansas will benefit from two grants presented to UAMS by the Arkansas affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

A grant of $87,642 will assist the UAMS Mobile Mammography Program to continue providing digital screening mammograms to women across Arkansas, with a focus on the 26 counties that lack permanent mammography facilities. The program’s mammography unit is contained in the MammoVan, a 40-foot vehicle that makes regular stops across the state.

“With our MammoVan, we go directly to the towns that lack mammography facilities and eliminate the barriers that prevent women from getting this important preventative cancer screening,” said Sharp Malak, M.D., director of the Mobile Mammography Program in the UAMS Department of Radiology. Malak, who holds a master’s degree in public health, also is assistant professor of radiology and epidemiology and director of the Breast Imaging Research Program at UAMS.

The MammoVan staff partners with community-based organizations, community health centers, work-site wellness locations and others to provide services for women in the towns where the MammoVan visits. The program also navigates patients who receive an abnormal screening result through follow-up diagnostic mammography, biopsy and referral to breast oncologic services.

A second grant of $46,328 will improve access to breast imaging and intervention services at the UAMS Breast Center. This grant also was presented to Malak.

“This grant will reduce the financial barrier many women face in seeking breast health services by providing assistance to uninsured and underinsured women,” he said.

The UAMS Breast Center, led by Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith, M.D., director of breast imaging at UAMS, is accredited by the American College of Radiology in mammography, breast ultrasound, and stereotactic breast biopsy. It was the first breast center in Arkansas to introduce digital mammography, and it has been a leader in the early adoption of 3-D mammography (tomosynthesis) in the state.

Additional services at the UAMS Breast Center include dedicated breast MRI and stereotactic, ultrasound and MRI-guided biopsies.