Breast Cancer Care
Cancer touches nearly everyone in some way. Studies show one in 8 women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, making it the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. That’s why Fairfield Medical Center has a team of nationally recognized experts who work together to make sure no cancer patient has to fight the battle alone. Our high level of expertise and care is driven from our passion to care for you.
Breast Cancer Causes and Risks
To learn more about breast cancer and how we can help you fight it, click on any of the links below.
Breast Cancer Causes and Risks
Breast Cancer Symptoms
Breast Cancer Resources
Breast Cancer Treatments
Fairfield Medical Center’s cancer program is nationally recognized
through the Commission on Cancer. Oncologists Dr. Singh and Dr. Saha use
state-of-the-art technology, such as digital mammography and breast
MRIs, that can help detect cancer in its earliest of stages. Once
diagnosed, each patient is connected with an oncology nurse navigator
who is there every step of the way to provide guidance, support and
education. In addition, Fairfield Medical Center has a Cancer Resource
Center that provides services, programs and classes for both cancer
patients and survivors.
Inherited changes in certain genes increase the risk of breast cancer. Women who carry changes in these genes have a much higher risk of breast cancer than women who do not carry these changes.
Studies have shown that if another member of your family, male or female, has been diagnosed with breast cancer, your chances of developing the disease increase.
Personal History of Breast Cancer
If you were previously diagnosed with breast cancer, there is an increased chance that you will develop breast cancer a second time.
If you have undergone radiation therapy to the chest area before the age of 30, you have an increased risk of developing breast cancer later in life. This includes being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma. Recent studies have shown that the younger a person was when they received the radiation therapy, the greater the chance of developing breast cancer later in life.
Studies indicate that the more alcohol a person drinks, the greater the risk of developing breast cancer.
Reproductive and Menstrual History
If you had your first menstrual period before age 12 or went through menopause after age 55, you have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Studies also have shown that women who had their first full-term pregnancy after age 30 or who have never had a full-term pregnancy are also at increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Long-Term Use of Menopausal Hormone Therapy
If you used a combined estrogen and progestin menopausal hormone therapy for more than five years, you have an increased chance of developing breast cancer.
Studies have found that postmenopausal women who have not used menopausal hormone therapy have a higher chance of getting breast cancer if you are overweight or obese.
Breast Cancer Symptoms
The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. For this reason, it is important to have any new breast mass, lump or breast change checked by a healthcare professional experienced in diagnosing breast diseases.
Breast Cancer Resources
Additional signs and symptoms of breast cancer can include:
A lump or thickening that feels different than the surrounding area
Changes in the size, shape or look of the breast
A bloody discharge from the nipple
Changes in the feel or appearance of the skin or nipple
An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast
A marble-like hardened area under the skin
These changes may be found during a breast self-exam
If you noticed any of these changes taking place, even if a recent mammogram was performed, please contact your physician as soon as possible.
Fairfield Medical Center and our Cancer Resource Center provide a vast array of support programs, resources and care for our patients with breast cancer. These programs and resources can help you and your family address issues that you may face as a result of your cancer diagnosis, or its treatment.
Fairfield Medical Cancer Resource Center
The Fairfield Medical Cancer Resource Center is open to any cancer patient and their support people. Educational classes, support services and retail products are offered to reduce stress and ease recovery and coping processes. The center is staffed Monday through Friday (or by appointment) by an FMC coordinator and volunteers, many of whom are cancer survivors.
135 N. Ewing St., Lancaster, Ohio 43130
fmchealth.org/cancer resource center
Cancer Support Fund
The FMC and TWIG 1 Cancer Care Fund offers individualized assistance to those patients who qualify. Click Here for more information on this program.
Look Good, Feel Better
Look Good…Feel Better is a free program offered by FMC
for women undergoing cancer treatment. The class helps
participants manage the appearance-related side effects of their
treatment. Instructors trained by the American Cancer Society teach
women about beauty techniques such as skin care, makeup application, wig
styling and ways to wear a scarf. Lead instructors are certified every
two years. Click Here for more information on this program.
Circle of Hope Cancer Support Group
This group provides hope, support, information and friendship to
anyone touched by cancer, including patients, survivors, family members
and friends. We welcome individuals coping with any type of
chronic illness. The group meets the fourth Thursday of most months from
6:30-8:30 p.m. in the meeting room of the Greenfield Township Fire
Department, 3245 Havensport Road near the intersection of Election
House and Coonpath roads. For more information, call 740-756-7084 or
email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Circle of Hope website at circleofhopecsg.vpweb.com.
Supportive Link Breast Cancer Survivor Group
This support group is for women touched by breast cancer. The group meets at 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month at the Rising House, 131 High St. in Lancaster. For more information about the support group, call 740-467-3198.
American Cancer Society’s Cancer Survivors Network
This network is composed of an online community where survivors and caregivers share their experiences and recommend helpful resources. For more information, go to csn.cancer.or.
American Cancer Society’s “I Can Cope”
This is a support program (in-person, online and telephone) for survivors and their loved ones. For more information, please call 1-800-227-2345
or go to cancer.org.
American Cancer Society’s “Reach to Recovery”
This program connects people newly diagnosed with breast cancer and their families with trained volunteers (who are breast cancer survivors) in their area. For more information, please call 1-800-227-2345 or go to cancer.org.
Cancer Support Community (formerly Gilda’s Club Worldwide and The Wellness Community)
This community is composed of support programs (in-person, online and telephone) for survivors and their loved ones. For more information, please call 1-888-793-9355 or visit cancersupportcommunity.org.
Mautner Project of Whitman-Walker Health
This project offers support programs (online and telephone) for lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals living with cancer and their partners. For more information, please visit whitman-walker.org/mautnerproject.
Susan G. Komen
After the emotional impact of a breast cancer diagnosis, just thinking about insurance, finances, or finding services can seem overwhelming. That’s why there are programs and organizations that offer the resources, support and guidance you need. Learn more about them by calling our Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) or by talking with your local affiliate at komencolumbus.org.
Breast Cancer Treatments
Your doctor will consult with you and determine a suggested treatment plan, possibly different from these general treatment options.
The most common treatment options are:
Currently, there are two surgical options to treat breast cancer:
Mastectomy. During a mastectomy, the entire breast and underarm lymph nodes are removed.
Lumpectomy. During a lumpectomy (also called a breast conserving surgery or partial mastectomy), the cancerous mass, the surrounding tissue and usually the underarm lymph nodes are removed. This procedure keeps as much of the breast tissue as possible.
Radiation therapy is often used after a lumpectomy to help reduce the risk that cancer will return to the nearby lymph nodes or breast area. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to destroy any cancer cells. Radiation also may be suggested after a mastectomy for patients with a large cancerous mass, or when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
Chemotherapy (chemo) is a treatment in which drugs are used to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be recommended if the cancer has a strong chance of spreading or returning. Chemotherapy is likely to be recommended if the cancer has already started to spread throughout the body.
On some occasions, chemotherapy will take place prior to surgery in patients with larger breast tumors. The goal is to shrink a tumor to a size that makes it easier to remove with surgery.
Studies have shown the estrogen can promote the growth of some forms of breast cancer. Hormone therapy is designed to block or counter the effects of estrogen. Hormone therapy is commonly used to fight breast cancer cases that are sensitive to hormones, such as estrogen positive or progesterone positive cancers.
If the cancer has already spread, hormone therapy can be used to reduce the size and control it. Hormone therapy also may be used to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.
As researchers have discovered more about the gene alterations in cells that lead to cancer, they have been able to create drugs that specifically fight these changes.
Certain targeted therapy drugs have been designed to assist hormone therapy drugs and fight the cancer cells.
In some forms of breast cancer, patients will have cells that produce excessive amounts of protein. The additional protein will cause the cancer to grow and spread more rapidly. Researchers have created a drug that is designed to help these patients and restrict the amount of protein produced.
Bone-directed therapy is designed to lower the risk of cancer spreading to bones. When cancer does spread to bones, it can cause pain and potentially lead to fractures.