Maine Medical Center provides comprehensive breast health care in a welcoming and patient-family centered environment. Services include early detection, diagnostic imaging services, specialist consultation for benign breast conditions, and treatment of breast cancer. Whenever possible, care is coordinated to provide consultations during a single visit. This is particularly convenient for patients living beyond the Portland area.
Our team of specialists includes surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. Non-physician members of the team include a breast certified nurse practitioner, nurses who have received specialized training in breast health and breast cancer, an oncology dietitian, an oncology social worker, certified genetic counselors and dedicated patient navigators.
The breast care team meets weekly to develop optimal treatment plans for our patients. The recommendation is then reviewed with the patient and family to keep them well informed and understanding what to expect every step of the way.
Our program has earned full accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), which assures that patients have access to a range of critical services.
Screening mammograms and clinical breast exams aid in the early detection of breast cancer. Upon discovery of a breast lump or an abnormal mammogram, we follow up quickly with:
- Diagnostic imaging modalities including full field digital mammography, ultrasound and breast MRI, as well as lymphoscintigraphy for lymph node mapping
- Nonsurgical stereotactic and ultrasound-guided breast biopsy to evaluate breast abnormalities, performed by a diagnostic radiologist who is a breast specialist
- Interpretation by diagnostic radiologists with specialty training in breast imaging
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy by experienced breast surgeons
Our breast specialists treat all types of breast conditions, including:
- In situ (or non-invasive) breast cancer
- Invasive lobular breast cancer
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Paget’s disease
- Metastatic breast cancer
- Nipple discharge
- Breast pain
- Fibrocystic breast syndrome
- Short term follow-up of benign biopsy
- Short term follow-up of radiographic changes
- Family history of breast cancer
- Patient with benign breast history
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast designed to help find tumors that may be too small to feel. Maine Medical Center offers comprehensive breast cancer screening and diagnosis services, including digital breast tomography (DBT), also known as 3D mammography.
What is a screening mammogram?
A screening mammogram is typically ordered by a health care provider as a preventative diagnostic tool for people with no signs or symptoms of breast disease.
What is a diagnostic mammogram?
In about 10% of screening mammograms completed, changes in the breast are found that call for additional testing. Further study may include a diagnostic mammogram. A diagnostic mammogram is testing completed when a radiologist asks for added imaging to be done with x-ray or ultrasound, or both.
A request for you to return for more imaging does not mean that you have cancer! For screening and diagnostic mammograms, a radiologist will review and a report of the radiologist's findings or recommendations will be sent to your health care provider. Patients will also receive a letter informing you of the results.
Preparing for Your Appointment
- If you’ve had mammograms before, let us know so we may obtain the files in advance and make them available to the radiologist for comparison to the current exam.
- On the day of your appointment, do not apply deodorant or powder to underarms or around breasts. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots.
- Please confirm that we have received—or bring with you—your physician’s referral.
Treatment options for breast cancer include surgery, medical oncology and radiation therapy (radiation oncology). Clinical trials are also an additional treatment option for eligible patients.
Surgery: Depending on tumor location, size, grade and node status, surgical options include breast-conserving lumpectomy, quadrantectomy and mastectomy. BCC surgical care is overseen by a sub-specialty fellowship-trained surgical oncologist.
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: Before undergoing mastectomy or other surgical treatment, patients can explore options for immediate or delayed reconstructive breast surgery.
Medical Oncology: The latest, most effective standard-of-care chemotherapy, hormonal treatment and trastuzumab (Herceptin®) regimens for all stages of breast cancer are available to patients.
Radiation Oncology: Includes conventional external beam radiation and, for appropriate patients, HDR partial breast irradiation (Mammosite®), which is a five-day targeted radiation therapy treatment that places the radiation source inside the lumpectomy cavity. MMC’s partial breast irradiation program has been in place since 2005 and has experienced positive results, with patients indicating high satisfaction and minimal side effects.
Clinical Trials: By participating in a clinical trial, patients may not only benefit from a new cutting edge cancer treatment, but also will be advancing medicine and potentially helping others who are diagnosed with breast cancer in the future.