Offering convenient way to combat breast cancer

Cheryl Hinton hits the road in the quest to prevent breast cancer.

Hinton, who is the marketing and promotions specialist for Tampa Bay Mobile Mammography, was the featured speaker at the East Pasco Networking Group’s breakfast meeting on Aug. 13 at the IHOP in Dade City.

Lt. James Law of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, left, Cheryl Hinton, Nils Lenz, Rodney Rehrig Sr., and Bob Hatfield were several attendees at the East Pasco Networking Group meeting on Aug. 13 at a Dade City IHOP. Hinton was the event’s guest speaker and received a Standing Ovation Award for her community work. (Brian Fernandes)

She talked about the company’s mission to provide convenient breast cancer screenings. The independent organization began in New Port Richey. It now provides its services not only in Pasco, but in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties, too.

The staff works out of three tour-size buses, which are parked at various locations. Female employees can step away from their work at those places, to undergo a breast cancer screening.

“We actually go to schools and corporations,” Hinton explained. “We bring the bus to them, so that all they have to do is go outside, get on the bus, get their mammogram done, and go right back to work.”

Inside the bus, women take several minutes to be examined, using a digital three-dimensional imaging machine.

Patients also may be referred to a physician for further analysis.

Beyond her current role, Hinton also has a history in community advocacy, having worked in conjunction with organizations like Meals on Wheels and The Samaritan Project.

After she ended her career in newspaper advertising, she found a role where she could promote health.

She recalled: “I see on Facebook that this position is opening and I thought ‘Mobile mammography, what’s that? That sounds interesting.’”

The job also had a personal significance, as her sister-in-law had succumbed to a seven-year battle with breast cancer.

The Zephyrhills resident initially began overseeing operations in Hillsborough County and eventually added Polk County.

“Part of my job is I sit [at] home on my laptop, contact the schools and let them know that we’re coming,” Hinton noted.

She also travels to the companies and schools within her districts to answer questions from employers or employees.

Mobile Mammography tries to accommodate educators by paying substitute teachers to cover their classes while they are in the bus for screening.

The organization had its first summer screening program this year, sending out flyers and visiting 27 schools where summer classes were being held.

The response was phenomenal, she said.

Although the services target women in the school system and the corporate world, women of all backgrounds are encouraged to jump aboard the bus – and for good reason.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the most common type found in women, not counting skin cancers .

In 2016, there were over 245,000 new cases reported in the United States alone.

The screening may seem intimidating and does bring about slight discomfort, Hinton acknowledged. However, she added, it could help prevent or stop the progression of breast cancer.

Hinton also was quick to point out that while the disease is prevalent among women, men too, are susceptible to breast cancer.

While Mobile Mammography does not offer services to men, it strongly recommends that men get routine check-ups, Hinton noted.

Toward the end of the meeting, the East Pasco Networking Group presented Hinton with a Standing Ovation Award to recognize her for her community efforts.

Published August 28, 2019

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