Patient initiation of mammographic screening is one method of increasing compliance with screening mammography guidelines. A low-cost screening project using a mobile van was developed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Analysis of the first 2,099 patients revealed that the participants were generally white (92%), more likely to have had a previous mammogram than the norm (33% in this study vs 19% in a 1986 Gallup survey), and relatively high-risk (30% having a breast cancer risk factor). The cancer detection rate was 6.2 per 1,000 women screened, with a biopsy rate of 1.3% and a positive predictive value of 48%. More than half the cancers detected were in situ lesions or invasive carcinomas smaller than 1 cm. Our results suggest that low-cost mobile mammographic screening can operate at appropriate levels of sensitivity and specificity and is well accepted by participants. Such projects require considerable preliminary planning, significant financial and time commitment by the physicians involved, and meticulous follow-up. A mammography management software system was developed to facilitate tracking of patients for routine and diagnostic follow-up studies and rapid communication of results. Although most follow-up studies and biopsies were done in the community, resistance in the medical community was significant and is perhaps the greatest impediment to such screening endeavors. © 1990 Southern Medical Association.