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Adventist Health Encourages Mammograms During Breast Cancer Awareness Month


(Monday, October 19, 2020 Ukiah CA) -- While many women are putting off their annual mammograms due to concerns around COVID-19, Linda Drake, a mother of four from Redwood Valley, knows first-hand why it’s important to take the time to get a mammogram.

“I’ve always heard that you’re supposed to start getting your mammogram at 40. But I didn’t think much of it. I had no family history of breast cancer and had no symptoms, so I kept putting it off. I didn’t think it could happen to me.”

But finally, at 46, during her annual check-up with her primary care physician, she gave in and went for her first ever mammogram at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. “I heard the news no one ever wanted to hear. They found an 8mm cancerous spot. I was shocked. I was pretty sure I was healthy and didn’t think it was possible.”

Drake says, she’s glad she went when she did, when the cancer was still it in its earlier stage and she had options available. She was referred to Ukiah Valley’s Kathleen Persky, MD, to have the lump removed.

Thanks to the team, she did not have to undergo radiation therapy or chemo and she has been cancer-free for three years. And she credits the team and a simple mammogram for saving her life.

“Had I not gotten my mammogram then, I don’t know what would have happened. It’s a quick process that could save your life. I’m thankful for the team, Dr. Persky and my primary physician because I wouldn’t be here today if not for them.”

Today, Drake shares her story to anyone willing to hear it. “A lot of women like me, we’re busy and we’re used to taking care of others. So we put off these things. But I want to remind everyone to take the time for their mammogram and to do it every year. You never know, the year you skip, that could have been the time that they would have found it sooner. Just because you don’t have a lump, it doesn’t mean you don’t have cancer. Get a mammogram and get peace of mind for you and your family.”

Healthcare organizations nationwide have seen an alarming 60% decrease in breast cancer screenings, leaving an estimated 36,000 delayed diagnoses. Honalee Newman, director of medical imaging at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, explains that Mendocino County is no exception to this devastating trend. “We have seen a drastic drop in mammograms since early spring. So many people were scared to come into any public areas, and healthcare facilities were no exception. I want the women in our community to know that it is safe to come in for their mammograms. We have implemented extra sanitation policies and take an abundance of caution when caring for our patients. My hope is women will once again begin scheduling their mammograms on a routine basis so we can detect cancer in the early stages, increasing their chances of a full recovery and decreasing the need for invasive treatment options.”

As way to create awareness in the community, Adventist Health Ukiah Valley is hosting “Movies and Mammograms”. The hospital will be holding a drive-in movie event showing “Trolls World Tour” on Friday, October 23 at 260 Hospital Drive in Ukiah. Gates will open at 7:00 p.m. and the movie will start at sundown.

To reserve a parking spot for the drive-in movie event, go to

Women can also schedule their mammograms that night. To schedule a mammogram, call 707-463-7342. 3D Mammography exams are covered and paid for by Medicare and Medicaid and most private insurances. 3D mammography exams are offered at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley’s Mendocino Radiology at 1162 South Dora Street, Suite D and the Outpatient Pavilion located at 245 Hospital Drive in Ukiah.