NAPBC Accreditation

Our program is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. Learn more about how this enhances the quality of your care:

NAPBC Website 

When it comes to breast health—and breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment—knowledge is power.

We provide the information you need to manage your risk and live well.

 

At the Middlesex Health Comprehensive Breast Center, we provide complete breast health care to women of all ages and levels of risk. Across the entire continuum of care—from prevention and screening through diagnosis and treatment—we are committed to detecting breast cancer at its earliest stages when it is most treatable. 

The Comprehensive Breast Center is unique because it combines all of our breast health services under one roof. As a result, multiple procedures—such as mammograms and ultrasounds—can be done on the same day, allowing for seamless communication between our surgeons and other care providers.

Our online Learning Center has up-to-date, evidence-based information about numerous topics related to breast cancer, including diagnostic tests, treatment options, managing side effects, and more.

Visit the Learning Center

These resources are not a substitute for the guidance of your physician but can help you learn more about breast cancer and what to expect during treatment. All content is provided courtesy of the Mayo Clinic Health Library.

 

Early detection and intervention are essential to effective breast cancer treatment. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help determine when to contact a health care provider.

What to Watch For:

  • Lumps or thickening in the breast or underarm area that feel different from nearby tissue
  • Changes in size and/or shape of your breast, including unusual swelling
  • Persistent breast pain not associated with your menstrual cycle
  • Nipple pain or an inverted nipple (nipple turned inward)
  • Changes to the skin over your breasts, such as dimpling or thickening
  • Rashes, skin irritation, flaking, peeling, or scaling of the nipple or skin over your breast
  • Discharge from the nipple, other than breast milk
  • For men, ANY lump in the chest or breastplate area

It can be stressful to notice a change in your breast, but it is essential to remember that most breast changes are not cancerous. Still, it is vital to make an appointment with your physician if you recognize any of these signs or symptoms - even if you just had a screening with expected results.

 

A breast cancer risk factor is anything that makes it more likely you will get breast cancer. Some risk factors are related to genetics and family history, while others are related to environment and lifestyle. 

Factors that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer include but are not limited to:

  • Being female
  • Increasing age
  • Personal history of atypical breast conditions
  • Personal history of breast cancer
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Inherited genes that increase cancer risk
  • Radiation exposure
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Obesity
  • First pregnancy at an older age
  • Never having been pregnant
  • Post-menopausal hormone therapy

The Comprehensive Breast Center also offers an innovative Hereditary Risk Assessment Program. Click here to learn more about whether this program could be helpful to you and your family.

Available diagnostic technologies include:
 
  • Ultrasound
  • Mammography
  • Breast MRI
  • Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI)
  • Breast Biopsy (Ultrasound guided, stereotactic, or MRI guided)

Learn More About Our Breast Imaging Center of Excellence

Surgical Oncology


Surgical oncology - or cancer surgery - can be used for diagnosing or treating breast cancer. There are several different types of procedures:

 
  • Biopsy: Removing a small sample of breast tissue to use for diagnosis
  • Lumpectomy: Removing areas of abnormal or cancerous tissue while preserving healthy tissue (breast-conserving surgery)
  • Mastectomy: Removing all of the tissue of the right, left, or both breasts to treat or prevent cancer

Surgery may be used in combination with radiation or chemotherapy, or it may not be used at all. Your physician will discuss which procedures are correct for you, depending on your risk factors or the type and stage of your cancer.

Reconstructive Breast Surgery

Reconstructive surgery can enhance your physical and emotional healing after surgery, helping restore your sense of well-being and femininity. Whether your treatment requires total mastectomy or lumpectomy, there are various options, including traditional breast implants and oncoplastic surgery.

Oncoplastic Surgery

Oncoplastic surgery combines cancer and reconstructive surgeries into a single procedure. During this one-time surgery, cancerous tissue is removed, and the remaining tissue is sculpted to create a natural appearance. Your surgeon may also reshape your healthy breast to ensure your breasts are symmetrical.

Oncoplastic surgery is performed before any radiation treatments; this helps you avoid wound healing complications that can occur after radiation.

Medical oncology involves chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapies - designed to attack cancer cells without impacting healthy tissue - to treat cancer and its related symptoms.

The board-certified medical oncologists, nurses, and technicians at Connecticut Oncology Group provide the most effective, advanced care with warm, personal attention and support for patients and their families. In addition, your medical oncology team will work closely with your other providers and help provide access to clinical trials

Radiation oncology is the highly-controlled use of radiation to cure or treat your cancer symptoms.

Learn more about radiation therapy options at Middlesex

Cutting Edge Technology

Savi
The Middlesex Health Comprehensive Breast Center now offers  SAVI SCOUT® radar localization technology to treat women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.
 
SAVI SCOUT® makes lumpectomies — breast-conserving surgeries where only part of the breast is removed — easier for patients and their surgeons by accurately pinpointing tumors before surgery. By accurately locating the tumors ahead of surgery, we can go straight to the abnormality during surgery and, more precisely and effectively, remove the entire tumor.
 
The FDA-approved technology may also give you more normal-looking breasts by limiting the amount of healthy breast tissue removed and decreasing the amount of time spent in the hospital compared with traditional localization.

Of the nearly 175,000 women who have breast-conserving surgery each year, about 30 percent require repeat surgery because some detectable cancer cells remain after the first procedure.
 
Traditionally, wire localization was the preferred preoperative technique for localizing breast tumors. With wire localization, an imaging device guides a thin wire with a hook at the end through a hollow needle to the abnormal area. Once the wire is in the right place, the needle is removed, and the wire is left in place, so the doctor will know where the abnormal tissue is. For the wire to remain in place, you must restrict your movements between when a radiologist inserts the wire the morning of surgery and when the lumpectomy occurs. This could be several housrs later. In some cases, however, wires can move away from your tumor, making removing all cancerous tissue more difficult. When this happens, you might need a second surgery.
 
SAVI SCOUT® allows you to forego a wire localization. Instead of wires, SAVI SCOUT® uses a reflector about rice grain size. It can be placed in your tumor up to 30 days before surgery. The reflector isn't externally visible, and placement does not restrict your movements. The reflector is passive until activated. When safe, nonradioactive radar waves are used to detect it within your breast.
 
The nonradioactive surgical guidance technology then guides your surgeon to the precise site of your tumor and can increase the likelihood of complete tumor removal.

One of the obvious advantages of SAVI SCOUT® is that it allows us to eliminate the wire localization, which often causes discomfort and anxiety in patients. Plus, the SAVI SCOUT® reflector is so tiny that you won't even feel it.
 
In addition, we can plan the incision during surgery, limiting tissue removal for better cosmetic results. Our goal is to save the breast, and with this technology, we can make smaller incisions, be more precise and save more of the normal tissue. This also means a less painful and quicker recovery for you.
 
Middlesex Health's breast surgeons work in tandem with plastic surgeons to reconstruct your breasts immediately after a lumpectomy, reducing your total recovery time.

SAVI SCOUT® is designed to help treat early-stage breast cancer patients who choose to have a lumpectomy or excisional biopsy. 
 
When tumors are accurately located during the first surgery, potential additional treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can occur faster.
NAPBC Accreditation

Our program is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. Learn more about how this enhances the quality of your care:

NAPBC Website