Oct. 9, 2012 – According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 39,510 deaths from cancer are expected to occur among women in the United States in 2012. This month, Hallmark Health System (HHS), which includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, is using Breast Cancer Awareness Month to remind women about the importance of breast health.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends women 40 and older to have a yearly mammogram and clinical breast exam. The Society also recommends that women ages 20 to 39 receive a clinical breast exam at last one every three years. The five year survival rate is 99 percent for breast cancer that is diagnosed in the earliest stages.
Having regular screening mammograms is the best way to detect early breast cancer, as mammograms can detect more than 90 percent of breast cancers. A mammogram is a picture of the breast that shows if the breast tissue is healthy. Our board-certified mammographers x-ray each breast and the total procedure takes only a few minutes. Mammograms can find tumors when they are too small to be felt, even by a physician. HHS has several convenient testing locations throughout the region including Medford, Melrose and Reading.
This spring, HHS opened its new Comprehensive Breast Center at the HHS Stoneham Outpatient Campus, located at 41 Montvale Ave. in Stoneham. The Center offers patients access to the latest technological advances in prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast disease. Through our collaborative approach and state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic services, patients at HHS receive accurate diagnosis and immediate care, with an emphasis on compassion. Care is coordinated by a specially-trained nurse navigator who works with radiologists and surgeons who specialize in breast disease to provide a full range of services to meet our patients’ breast health needs.
The Center’s nurse navigator is with the patient every step of the way. She will coordinate care for the patient, work closely with an inter-disciplinary treatment team, assure timely access of scheduled appointments and provide emotional support to patients and families. The nurse navigator will also educate patients about individual breast disease diagnoses and treatment options, help patients make informed decisions about treatment and care, advocate for patients throughout treatment and assist with recovery and rehabilitation plans.
Services at the Center include:
- Diagnostic digital mammography
- Breast ultrasound
- Stereotactic and ultrasound guided biopsies
- Breast cyst and fine needle aspirations
- Nurse navigator
- Surgery consults
- Lymphedema specialist
- Social worker
Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health System is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology and the Joslin Diabetes Center for diabetes care.