Knoxville (WVLT) - A mammogram is the best way to help screen for, and detect breast cancer.
But many women go without this simple, x-ray test because of the cost.
Enter Mission Mammography.
Medical Reporter Jessa Goddard is covering your health with more on this annual event.
Mammography can detect breast cancer up to two years before it can be found by a self exam.
Many women, particularly those without health insurance, have never had a mammogram.
And that set the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center on a mission.
Hundreds of women turned out before the sun came up, hoping to be one of the 107 women to receive a free mammogram today.
Elaine Nelson drove to Knoxville from Lafollette in the middle of the night to ensure she would be one of the first in line.
"I got here at 4:45 this morning, and I came because I don't have any insurance, and it was free," says Elaine.
From the outside, it looks like an ordinary bus, but inside the KCBC's mobile unit is equipped with the technology to screen and detect breast cancer.
It is the brain child of Doctor Kamilia Kozlowski who says the sheer number of women who show up proves there is a lack of access to this life-saving technology.
"Oh, it does break my heart. And it's so wonderful to be able to provide this service," says Dr. Kozlowski.
Over the course of 11 hours, KCBC staff performed more than 100 mammograms to any woman that qualifies, that's any woman over 40 that doesn't have implants, lumps, cysts or pain.
Elaine nelson was one of the first to receive one today.
"Because I think it's important to have it done once a year, especially once you turn 40," says Elaine.
Then, over the next few days, Doctor Kozlowski and another radiologist will examine the x-rays and interpret the results.
"If there's any concern, findings, on any of the studies, we'll have the ladies come into the office and work them up," says Dr. Kozlowski.
Last year, of the 107 women screened, 13 had suspicious results which required further screening.
You're probably wondering why 107? Our media partner 107.7 WIVK is a co-sponsor of the event.
Mission mammography is funded by the Kim Rowden Breast Cancer Memorial Fund which was founded by KCBC to assist women without financial resources for breast cancer screenings.
The non-profit fund is administered by the Baptist Health System Foundation.