TAWAS CITY – Ascension St. Joseph Hospital is upgrading its breast imaging technology to state-of-the-art 3D tomosynthesis mammography beginning in May.

As officials continue to provide mammography services during the renovation and minimize any inconvenience for patients, Ascension St. Mary’s new mobile mammography breast cancer screening center will be stationed at Ascension St. Joseph Hospital, 200 Hemlock in Tawas City, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The 45-foot breast screening center on wheels provides advanced mammography services to aid in the early detection of breast cancer and save lives. A registration area is at the front of the mobile center, with private dressing rooms that lead to the center’s advanced 3D tomosynthesis mammography equipment and technology.

“This high tech mobile mammography screening center allows people to get a mammogram at a location that is more convenient and closer to their home,” says Dr. Christopher Garces, breast surgical oncologist at Ascension St. Joseph Hospital. “The images are transferred daily from the mobile mammogram system to Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital in Saginaw where a radiologist will read them within 24-48 hours. Earlier detection of breast cancer can lead to faster treatment and improved outcomes.”

The $1 million mobile mammography breast cancer screening center was provided through the generosity of Ascension St. Mary’s Foundation to help address the high mortality rate for individuals with breast cancer in the mid, northern and Thumb regions of Michigan. A regular monthly schedule has the mobile mammography screening center traveling to Oscoda, Chesaning, Birch Run, Frankenmuth, Vassar and Genesee County. It is also available at community health fairs and events, and businesses may also schedule the mobile mammography screening center for their work sites.

“We recommend annual mammography screenings beginning at age 40,” says Garces. “If you have a family history of breast cancer, talk with your physician if you should have a breast screening test before you turn 40.”

A physician order is needed for mammograms. For more information or to schedule a screening appointment with the mobile mammography center, you can call the imaging center at Ascension St. Joseph at 989-984-2629 or 800- 605-9141.