Middlesex Health: Breast Cancer Awareness

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — One year ago, Middlesex Health Cancer Center opened its Comprehensive Breast Center—a move that highlighted the significance of early detection and demonstrated the importance of providing quality, compassionate care.

Breast Surgeon and Middlesex Health Cancer Center Medical Director, Dr. Andrea Malon joins us to bring awareness to breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States and the Comprehensive Breast Center is specifically designed to help women who have a known high risk for breast cancer, as well as those who may be at high risk due to family history or certain benign breast conditions. These individuals may benefit from being monitored more closely.

The center also cares for patients with newly diagnosed cancer through integrated treatment planning, as well as those who have completed their treatment.

Middlesex Health Cancer Center is recognized for providing excellent care for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment that meets and exceeds national standards. It is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.

“We always look for the best ways to care for our patients,” says Dr. Andrea Malon, a breast surgeon who serves as medical director of both Middlesex Health Cancer Center and its Comprehensive Breast Program. “The Comprehensive Breast Center allows us to coordinate care in a way that addresses any health concerns quickly. This model also helps to reduce anxiety, and it helps patients better navigate a cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

Women who are identified as being high risk, or who think they might be at high risk, are encouraged to make an appointment directly by calling 860-358-2780. They can also discuss their concerns with their primary care physician, who can make a referral.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and all women are at risk. However, some women are at higher risk.

Risk factors for breast cancer include:

  • A strong family history of breast cancer, especially if a family member was younger than 50 at diagnosis
  • A family history of ovarian cancer
  • A prior personal history of breast cancer or abnormal cells on a biopsy
  • A known family history of a genetic mutation that increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer
  • A history of chest wall radiation between the ages of 10 and 30 years old
  • Early menarche
  • Late menopause
  • No history of pregnancy

The Comprehensive Breast Center is located at 540 Saybrook Road in Middletown. Services are also offered at a satellite office at the Middlesex Health Shoreline Medical Center in Westbrook as well as Marlborough.

There are often no signs of breast cancer until the cancer is more advanced and a mass is felt in the breast. This means that getting a routine breast screening, such as a 3D mammogram, and perhaps a breast ultrasound, is very important. These breast screenings help find cancers when they are small, and therefore more treatable, with better outcomes.

In addition to feeling a lump in the breast, signs of breast cancer can include dimpling or puckering of the skin, swelling or enlargement of the breast, bloody nipple discharge, persistent rash or redness of the breast, and a change in the appearance of the nipple.

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