NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

CBS2 wants to make sure all women know the importance of early detection.

Unfortunately, though, during the coronavirus pandemic many have put off their mammograms.

As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Monday, a mobile mammogram unit is helping underserved women with breast cancer screening.

Fear of the the coronavirus is one reason some women have delayed their mammograms. Another is lack of insurance or funds if you’ve lost your job. But cancer doesn’t wait for any reason.

That’s where Project Renewal can help, especially in communities where health outcome disparities are greatest.

It’s called the “ScanVan,” a mobile mammography unit that’s on the road 240 days a year, traveling to medically underserved communities in all five boroughs and Long Island.

Project Renewal Program Director Angela Brunswick said studies tell us why early breast cancer detection is especially important in communities of color.

“Women of color are diagnosed as much as white women are diagnosed, but women of color … they die at a higher rate,” she said.

The reasons are varied, but ultimately come down to economics.

“A lot of us don’t have the type of insurance where you can go to a facility, so they come around to the neighborhood and you get tested,” ScanVan client Kay Connor said.

Inside, the van looks like a regular doctor’s office. There’s a brief intake process, then the mammogram. Women are contacted within a few days with results.

No woman is turned away because of inability to pay or immigration status. There’s even financial assistance if treatment is needed.

To make an appointment and find out where the van will be this month, call (646) 415-7932, or email

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