Medical Arts Radiology has opened a mammography screening center at the Smith Haven Mall.
It’s the first screening site the diagnostic imaging group has opened inside a mall. It’s also the first at a Simon Mall on Long Island.
The center, called Pure Mammography, will operate during regular mall hours, said Dr. Barry Morgenstern, director of breast imaging at Medical Arts Radiology, which has 10 offices, all on Long Island.
“Everyone knows how common breast cancer can be,” Morgenstern said. “ . . . Breast screening is one of the major medical advances of the last 50 years. Unfortunately, only about 50 percent of women do this. It’s a potentially lifesaving exam.”
Morgenstern said Pure Mammography expects to screen about 20 patients per day, and that appointments are not necessary. He added that if the office is busy, patients will be given vibration signal devices similar to those used at restaurants.
“You can shop and come back,” he said.
Morgenstern said Pure accepts insurance. For the uninsured, a screening costs $45.
The American Cancer Society recommends women 45 to 54 years of age undergo an annual mammography screening. Women 55 and over could move to screening every other year, the society says.
The American Medical Association said women 40 and over should be eligible for screening mammograms and that all insurance plans should cover the screening.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in New York, behind lung cancer, according to the governor’s office and the state Department of Health. About 15,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in New York each year, and approximately 2,640 die from the disease.
The governor’s office added that about 22 percent of women in New York between 50 and 74 years of age reported not having a mammogram at least every other year.
The new Smith Haven Mall location is part of a trend to make health care more convenient, said Martine Hackett, an assistant professor in the department of health professions at Hofstra University.
“We know there are blood pressure kiosks at drugstores, and that flu shots are available at drugstores,” Hackett said. “Also, some stores have clinics.”
For instance, Walmart runs Care Clinics in select stores.
CVS operates Minute Clinic, a walk-in medical clinic. It has medical clinics at stores in Syosset and Bellport, according to the company’s website.
“I think we will continue to see more of this,” said Elizabeth Cohn, executive director of the Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation. “People want to take care of themselves, and preventative care can be put in more convenient places.”
Morgenstern said the 11,000-square-foot Smith Haven Mall site is a “launchpad for this concept.”