Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. In fact, one in eight women in the United States develops some form of breast cancer over their lifetime, and it’s one of the leading causes of death in women over 40.
The comprehensive breast care program at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital exemplifies the hospital’s commitment to women’s health throughout the continuum, from advanced diagnostics and screening tools to genetic testing and the latest surgical techniques. As part of the large and growing field of identifying and managing women at high risk of developing breast cancer, Joseph Rosen, MD provides breast cancer risk assessment, high risk screening, prevention therapy and counseling. Referral to certified genetic counselors and genetic testing are provided for those individuals who are at high risk.
Indeed, medicine today offers breast cancer patients more treatment options and more hope for survival than ever before. A variety of technologically advanced techniques are available through the breast care program, along with care strategies selected for each woman and implemented by multidisciplinary teams of care providers led by physicians on the medical staff.
BMH cancer services locally include surgery, medical oncology, chemotherapy, physical therapy, dietary counseling and survivorship programs. Our “state-of-the-art” imaging includes digital mammography, breast MRI, ultrasound, bone densitometry, CT scanning and stereotactic biopsy.
- Digital mammography uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high resolution computer monitor. When reading the results of a digital mammogram, the radiologist is better able to manipulate the image on the computer to see through the breast more clearly. Digital mammography feels identical to conventional screening from a patient’s perspective, though women may notice shorter exam times and a reduction in return visits to obtain additional imaging. More on Digital Mammography.
- Breast ultrasound, also known as sonography or ultrasonography, is frequently used by Brattleboro Memorial Hospital physicians to evaluate breast abnormalities that are found with screening or diagnostic mammography or during a physician-performed clinical breast exam. The ultrasound is a procedure in which high-energy sound waves are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echo patterns are shown on the screen of an ultrasound machine, forming a picture of body tissues. Ultrasound is excellent at imaging cysts: round, fluid-filled, pockets inside the breast. Additionally, ultrasound can often quickly determine if a suspicious area is in fact a cyst or an increased density of solid tissue which may require a biopsy to determine if it is malignant (cancerous). More on ultrasounds.
- Brattleboro Memorial Hospital works with United Medical Services to provide state-of-the–art stereotactic breast biopsy. Stereotactic biopsy is used to take tiny samples of your breast tissue that can be studied under a microscope. During this procedure, a mammogram-like X-ray helps find the tissue to be removed. Stereotactic biopsy may prevent the need for an open surgical biopsy. Open biopsy is done by taking samples of tissue through an incision made in the skin. More on stereotactic biopsy.
- Your bone density can be safely, accurately and painlessly measured at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s bone density suite. Our Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry measures bone density and the mineral content of bone. Unlike typical x-rays , radiation exposure during bone densitometry is extremely low. The entire process takes only minutes to complete. It involves no injections or invasive procedures, and patients remain fully clothed. More on bone density.
For those services not available locally, the BMH Breast Care Program will help refer and coordinate additional care. Breast Care Program Administrator/Nurse Navigator, Kelly McCue, RN, MSN, CNS, OCN, CHPN, is available to assist with all of our breast patients’ needs. The Medical Director of the Program is BMH general surgeon, Joseph Rosen, MD, whose subspecialty is breast surgery.
For more information about the BMH Comprehensive Breast Care Program, call Kelly McCue at 802-251-8437.
Along with breast self-exams and visiting a doctor, mammograms are a crucial component of proactive breast care. And at BMH, we work hard to make getting a mammogram easier and faster.
- Mammography – BMH offers comprehensive screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds, breast MRI and other breast imaging procedures. To schedule a screening, call 802-251-8431.
Can’t Afford a Mammogram? If you’re 40 or older, and you’ve been putting off your regular mammogram due to your finance, think again. Early detection of breast cancer saves lives-maybe even yours. And you could qualify for financial help. Call Ladies First toll free at 800-508-2222 or Let No Woman be Overlooked in NH at 800-852-3345 for assistance. If you qualify, your next mammogram could be free!
Because we understand how scary it is to discover the possibility of breast cancer, we offer same-day diagnostic mammography as well as a full range of other diagnostic services. Our mission is to give every woman the support she needs during this time of uncertainty.
Diagnostic services – Our staff is fully trained in diagnostic mammography and breast ultrasound. And we offer the latest in diagnostic services including:
- Stereotactic core needle biopsies
- Breast MRI
- Sentinel lymph node biopsies
- Cyst aspiration
- Ultrasound core biopsies
Our surgery suites feature state-of-the-art equipment, facilities and staff. This experience and commitment enable the medical staff to offer a full range of breast surgical procedures.
If radiation is part of the treatment plan, we work with Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, NH.
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s Breast Care Program offers more than medical treatment. We offer the emotional and psychosocial support needed during this time.
Breast Nurse Navigator– Our Breast Nurse Navigator is a registered nurse with specialized training in oncology. She possesses extensive knowledge of breast cancer and the healthcare system. Kelly McCue coordinates the program that provides diagnostic testing, treatment, post treatment follow-up, and support services to women undergoing benign or malignant breast disease, or who have questions regarding their breast health. Kelly’s role is to support women in their physical, psychosocial, and spiritual recovery in an individualized, multi-disciplinary program. She serves as a resource for patients and their families to answer questions, assess specialists, and coordinate additional services. Financial support for the Nurse Navigator program is provided by the National Breast Cancer Foundation. To contact Kelly McCue, Administrator/Nurse Navigator, call 802-251-8437.
- Breast Cancer Support Group – The Breast Cancer Support Group has been an invaluable source of encouragement and support for women facing breast cancer. The group is comprised of breast cancer survivors who provide support for newly diagnosed women with situations similar to theirs in terms of age, ethnicity, stage of cancer, treatment, etc. They meet on the first Wednesday of the month from 5 -6:30 PM in the Breast Resource Room. For more information, call 802-251-8437.
- Women’s Network of Strength – The Women’s Network of Strength has been an invaluable source of encouragement and support for women facing cancer. They meet on the third Wednesday of the month from 12 – 1:00 PM in the Breast Resource Room (bring your lunch). For more information, call 802-251-8437
- Look Good, Feel Better- The Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Oncology Unit, in tandem with the American Cancer Society, offers a free program every six weeks for women in cancer treatment who are in charge of their lives. These sessions are also sponsored by the BMH Breast Care Program. The “Look Good, Feel Better” sessions as a part of the BMH Breast Care Program offers diagnostic treatment and support services to patients who have questions regarding their breast health. It is designed to help women with breast concerns navigate the healthcare system. It may also be helpful to patients who have other questions regarding their breast health. The program will support physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery on an individualized, multi-discipline basis. In addition to networking opportunities, local cosmetologists from Cottage Hair Studio provide their services at “Look Good, Feel Better” sessions to help patients restore their appearance during cancer treatment. They supply products and advice to help women learn techniques about make-up and skin care along with talking to them about options related to hair loss such as wigs, turbans, and scarves.