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South Jordan Journal

The Boob Bus looks to educate and bring awareness to breast health

Apr 12, 2024 12:28PM ● By Rachel Aubrey

The fully renovated and fully equipped Boob Bus houses state of the art technology for services such as 3D mammography and 3D ultrasound as well as genetic counseling and injectables. (Photo courtesy Rena Vanzo)

The name is unnerving. The concept is inspired. The execution is genuine. 

South Jordan resident Rena Vanzo and her team are ready to educate and bring awareness to breast health in Utah. Nicknamed ʻDoris Jeanʻ after her grandmother, who was a survivor of breast cancer, the ʻBoob Busʻ is a mobile unit that will drive to a client specified location and will provide on-site services such as 3D mammogram, 3D dense breast tissue ultrasound, genetic counseling, as well as injectables such as Botox and Dysport. All of the services are performed by licensed professionals. 

According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, women who are 50 to 74 years old and are at “average risk” for breast cancer are recommended to get a mammogram every two years. The USPSTF also reports that women who are 40-49 should talk with their doctor about when to start and how often to get a mammogram.

Because of her educational background in genetic counseling, Vanzo knows more than most about the genetic mutations that can lead to cancer. As someone with a family history of breast cancer, she also knows how important early detection can be. 

Vanzo went for her first mammogram two years ago, upon turning 40. Her mammogram coincided with the knowledge that there was a gene variant in her family history.

“I think this is very much a passion project,” Vanzo said. “I also consider myself kind of a health advocate and health educator. And the bottom line is, I just want any woman who comes on board to feel supported and not judged.”

The University of Utah reported in 2023 that Utah is ranked the third lowest in mammography screening rates among women 40 years and older. Vanzo wants to make her Boob Bus as accessible to as many women as possible, providing them with the latest in mammographic technology.

“The fact of the matter is equipment has come a long way,” Vanzo said. “The instrument we have gives the lowest dose of 3D instruments. It’s more aligned with a 2D instrument in terms of the radiation but the quality is that of a 3D instrument.”

Vanzo admitted that while there are hospitals for services like this, for some it’s hard to find the time, and for others going to a hospital, even once every two years, can be daunting and bring back traumatic memories. On the Boob Bus, you can not only receive these medical facility type services, but clients can also receive a bit of pampering. 

“Everybody who comes in gets a heated robe,” Vanzo said. “They get a little goodie bag when they leave, and we have one of those paraffin hand dip machines. It’s just a little extra for women, to celebrate the fact that you did this, this was a big deal.”

Niki Keene is the lead mammography technician for the Boob Bus. With more than 10 years of experience, Keene previously worked on similar mobile medical units. She has also worked in environments that don’t cater to working individuals or to individuals with kids. For Keene, the Boob Bus is a step in the right direction for breast health.

“It’s the approach I think we’ve needed for mammography to kind of come into the future,” Keene said. “For me it’s exciting and something wildly different.”

When booked, the Boob Bus will come to your neighborhood, to your local community center, just about anywhere. Vanzo’s goal is to be flexible and to be accommodating to busy schedules. 

“It takes away those excuses women have to not do it,” Keene said. 

Cancer survivor Christine DeMita has a story to tell about her treatment experience. She credits a “good doctor” who sent her for an ultrasound.

According to The American Cancer Society, “Breast ultrasound uses sound waves and their echoes to make computer pictures of the inside of the breast. It can show certain breast changes, like fluid-filled cysts, that can be harder to see on mammograms. Ultrasound is not typically used as a routine screening test for breast cancer.”

A mammogram didn’t catch DeMita’s cancer, the ultrasound did. She said having access to the Automated Breast Ultrasound, like the one on the Boob Bus, a year prior would have detected her cancer even earlier.

“We need to do better for women,” DeMita said. “As it is known, cancers are being missed.”

Vanzo is actively working on contracts with different insurance companies to be able to be “in-network” for her clients. And while the Boob Bus may be viewed as being in competition with larger hospitals, Vanzo said, there needs to be room for all methods to ensure individuals get access to early screening methods.

“It’s okay to have these different types of ways people can get mammograms,” Vanzo said. “And the bottom line is let’s just work together and make sure women are getting them.”

The Boob Bus has been on the road since February and has served more than 25 women thus far.

To schedule the Boob Bus visit To see more photos and videos visit their Instagram page @theboobbus1 λ