Among Vermont women, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death, after lung cancer. The key to increasing a woman’s chances of long term survival is early detection through regular breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, and mammograms. According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is confined to the breast, the five-year survival rate is close to 100%.
Our Integrated Approach
At CVMC, we have a team of highly skilled staff that works collaboratively to ensure that you receive the best care possible, from early screening to cancer treatment plans.
Breast Care Services at CVMC
Clinical Breast Exams
Clinical Breast Exams are performed as part of a routine health exam by your primary provider. The College of Radiology recommends this exam about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.
A screening mammogram is an exam used to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms. Mammography plays a central role in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them.
Current guidelines recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40. In addition, women who have had breast cancer and those who are at increased risk due to a genetic history of breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and about the frequency of screening.
CVMC performs approximately 10,000 screening mammograms a year. To find out more about mammograms, screening guidelines, and scheduling and preparing for your mammogram at CVMC, click here.
Paying for Your Mammogram
CVMC is committed to providing every woman her recommended mammograms. CVMC’s Patient Navigator works with women who have insurance or financial challenges to find the best way to get their mammograms paid for.
CVMC offers two types of diagnostic imaging procedures that allow our radiologists to evaluate areas of concerns identified in a screening mammogram or breast exam.
General surgeons at CVMC perform Ultrasound-Guided Biopsies and Stereotactic Biopsies to collect tiny samples of your breast tissue for further evaluation.
Breast Cancer Treatment
Every diagnosis of breast cancer is unique and requires a specialized treatment plan designed to provide you with the most favorable outcome possible. Treatment is determined based upon a number of factors, including the size and location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and results of other laboratory tests.
Breast Cancer Treatment options available at CVMC include:
The first step in a breast cancer treatment plans is usually surgery. Our skilled team of surgeons work with our radiology, surgical and laboratory departments to perform breast conservation/lumpectomies, mastectomies, and sentinel node biopsies.
Radiation Therapy may be recommended as a follow-up to surgery in order to eliminate any remaining breast cancer cells potentially surrounding the surgical area. Radiation typically begins one month after surgery in order to allow the breast tissue time to heal.
The National Life Cancer Treatment Center at CVMC has state-of-the-art radiation therapy technology, along with a team of highly skilled and caring professionals.
Chemotherapy is another possible treatment for breast cancer and may be used in addition to surgery or other treatments. Other medical oncology services include hormone therapy, symptom management, and treatment planning.
Our professional team of medical oncologists and nurses at Mountainview Medical provides patients and their families with the best and most compassionate cancer care possible.
CVMC offers several services and treatments to help cancer survivors’ cope with long and short term side effects from their cancer or their cancer treatment, such as our Comprehensive Lymphedema Treatment program.
Patient Support Services
A diagnosis of cancer can affect many aspects of your life. CVMC offers a range of services to support you and your family, including our Patient Navigator, who will connect you to the services that will meet your individual needs.
There are many websites that provide educational information that can help you become better informed about breast care.