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Cancer Care

Cancer Care at Mid Coast Hospital

Breast Cancer


Breast cancer is characterized by a malignant tumor or tumors found in the tissue of the breast. It is the most common cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women exceeded only by lung cancer.

The majority of lumps found in the breast are benign, which means they are not cancerous. Benign breast lumps do not spread outside of the breast and they are not life-threatening.

All women are at risk for breast cancer. While men can also get the disease, it is nearly 100 times more common in women. A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer increases as she ages. Approximately eight out of 10 breast cancers are found in women over age 50.

Warning Signs

Women may experience a wide range of lumpiness in their breasts. However, only a small percentage of lumps are malignant. If you are concerned about a lump or experience any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with your provider:

  • A portion of the skin on the breast or underarm swells and has an unusual appearance.
  • Veins on the skin surface become more prominent on one breast.
  • The breast nipple becomes inverted, develops a rash, changes in skin texture, or has a discharge other than breast milk.
  • A depression is found in an area of the breast surface.

Prevention

The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 40 and older have a screening mammogram every year and continue to do so for as long as they are in good health. If you are at increased risk for breast cancer, you should talk with your doctor about the benefits of starting mammography screening at an earlier age.

Get in the habit of performing a breast self exam once a month, and make sure you receive a clinical breast exam from your doctor at each annual visit. And exercise regularly—studies show that exercise reduces breast cancer risk.

Breast Cancer Support Team


Mid Coast Medical Group–Breast & Surgical Oncology

Breast & Surgical Oncology


Patricia Sara Greatorex, MD

Kim Lynch, RN, Nurse Navigator

Mid Coast Medical Group–Cancer & Blood Disorders

Cancer & Blood Disorders


John J. Gullo, MD

Mikee Spaulding, FNP-C
Risk Factors
  • Genetics: Roughly 5-10% of breast cancers are linked to mutations in certain genes.
  • Family History: Breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have the disease.
  • Personal History: A woman with cancer in one breast has a greater chance of developing a tumor in the other breast or in another part of the same breast.
  • Radiation: Women who have had radiation treatment to the chest earlier in life have a greatly increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Long-term use (several years or more) of combined HRT (estrogens together with progesterone) after menopause increases the risk.
  • Alcohol: Use of alcohol is linked to a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Diet: Being overweight is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause and if the weight gain took place during adulthood.
  • Early Menstruation/Late Menopause: Women who began having periods early or who went through menopause after the age of 55 have a slightly increased risk.
  • Pregnancy: Women who have not had children or who had their first child after age 30, have a slightly higher risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Abnormal Breast Biopsies: Certain types of abnormal biopsy results can be linked to a slightly higher risk.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise has been shown to lower the risk of getting breast cancer.


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BRUNSWICK, MAINE 04011
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Mid Coast Hospital - For a Lifetime of Caring

123 Medical Center Drive, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Copyright © 2018. Mid Coast Hospital. All rights reserved.

 
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