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Annual mammograms recommended starting at age 40

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Annual mammograms recommended starting at age 40

Annual mammograms are recommended for women beginning as early as age 40, but with the recent pandemic some folks, like Carson Valley Health Senior Care Patient Access Representative Lori McCaskill, put them off.

McCaskill said she had put off her annual mammogram due to COVID-19 and was reminded by family medicine Dr. Judith Rosso, whom she works with.

They found something.

McCaskill was scheduled for an ultrasound and biopsy right away. Shortly after her biopsy, she was scheduled for surgery with CVH general surgeon, Dr. Timothy King.

“Dr. King is one of the premier breast cancer surgeons in the area, and he also does plastic surgery, so my scarring was minimal,” McCaskill said.

She underwent chemotherapy at Carson Valley Health.

“I can’t say enough about the infusion crew,” McCaskill said. “You don’t feel like you’re a patient, you feel like you are family, and they are going to make sure they do everything to make you feel better, from having the same team doing your labs and vitals to having the same nurses administering your chemo medications.”

McCaskill said she hopes her story will encourage people to get screened and to learn their family histories.

“I’m adopted so I didn’t know my family history until I found out about my biological mother who had died from brain cancer,” she said. “The doctors felt it came from a primary source like lung or breast cancer that metastasized into her brain.”

Annual mammograms are recommended for women beginning as early as age 40 by the American Cancer Society. Women should consult with their healthcare providers to determine the best time to begin.

Even if your family history doesn’t point directly at a genetic issue, McCaskill said it may point to the kinds of testing you should do.

The Medical Center is offering discounted mammography screenings for $50 throughout the month of October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Appointments may be made by calling (775) 782-1533. Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose X-ray system to examine breast tissue. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women. The hospital offers different types of mammograms to give patients their best chance for early, accurate diagnosis.

A 3D Mammogram can detect a problem before it is felt during a self-exam and could be lifesaving. 3D digital mammography equipment is sophisticated state-of-the-art technology that provides a high-quality image to the radiologist for an accurate diagnosis.

CVH’s $50 discounted rate applies to screenings scheduled Monday-Friday in October. Discount is made available in partnership with Sierra Nevada Medical Imaging. Cash, check or credit card payments are accepted at the time of service. Insurance will not be billed for discounted screenings. The price includes screening mammograms and radiology readings. No screening and readings are available at a discounted rate for people with implants.

For more information, visit or call (775) 782-1533.