WOODINVILLE, Wash. - Early detection can be essential to beating breast cancer, but convenience is one of the reasons women put off the life saving screening.

Each year, nearly 5000 women in Western Washington will benefit from the mobile mammogram van, a traveling program providing easy access to screenings.

Bonnie Merry is one of these women. In the Woodinville Safeway parking lot she makes her annual visit to the Mobile Mammogram van, run by the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

“It makes me be consistent. And make sure I do it every year because it's so easy,” said Bonnie. “The appointment only takes 15 minutes, but if it takes you an hour drive for a 15 minute appointment, that can be a huge deterrant and we want to remove all barriers from getting a screening.”

Inside the mobile screening van, the 3-D technology is the same. The technologists and radiologists are the same ones that are found in the clinic at SCCA's headquarters in South Lake Union.

SCCA brings the van to underserved populations, where the choice can sometimes be between putting their health first or putting food on the table.

“I say the excuse isn't there anymore. In fact, I've gotten a couple of neighbors to come use this,” said Bonnie.

The van travels around Western Washington six days a week, visiting different locations. This life-saving technology is brought to about 18-20 people in communities that need it most.

To find out whether the SCCA Mammogram Van will be in your area, please call (206) 288-7800, or view the Mammogram Van Calendar.