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The Breast Health Center provides comprehensive breast care for women. Our services include:
The Breast Health Center offers leading-edge technologies to improve early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Breast tomosynthesis is the latest breakthrough in mammography and was pioneered at Massachusetts General Hospital. Also called 3D mammography, it provides a clearer, more accurate view of the breast and enables doctors to pinpoint the size, shape and location of abnormalities more effectively. A complement to standard mammograms, it can result in fewer callbacks, better detection and greater peace of mind.
If a patient is diagnosed with cancer, our multidisciplinary team of breast cancer experts works together to develop and implement a personalized care plan. Depending on the stage and other characteristics of a patient’s cancer, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of these therapies. Members of the care team meet with patients regularly and communicate frequently with their referring physician to ensure seamless coordination of care. Our patients have access to the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center and to the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center if they need additional care.
Board Certification: Radiation Oncology Clinical interest or expertise: Breast Cancer, Genitourinary Cancer, Radiation Oncology
Board Certification: Diagnostic Radiology
Board Certification: Surgery Clinical interest or expertise: Diagnosis and treatment of breast disease, Management of patients at high risk for breast cancer, Innovations in lumpectomy techniques, Nipple sparing mastectomy
Board Certification: Surgery Clinical interest or expertise: Abdominoplasty, Botox and Fillers, Breast Reduction, Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift, Body Contouring, Cosmetic Surgery, Eyelid Surgery, Liposuction, Labiaplasty
Board Certification: Diagnostic Radiology Clinical interest or expertise: Breast Imaging, Molecular Imaging
Board Certification: Medical Oncology, Internal Medicine Clinical interest or expertise: Breast Cancer
Board Certification: Diagnostic Radiology Clinical interest or expertise: Breast Imaging and Intervention
Board Certification: Medical Oncology, Internal Medicine Clinical interest or expertise: Breast Cancer, Gynecologic Malignancies, Medical Oncology
Board Certification: Surgery Clinical interest or expertise: Auxiliary Lymph Node Dissection, Breast Cancer Surgery, Breast Disease, Lumpectomy, Multidisciplinary Breast Health Care, Prophylactic Mastectomy, Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping
Board Certification: Radiation Oncology Clinical interest or expertise: General Radiation Oncology, Gynecologic Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
Board Certification: Diagnostic Radiology Clinical interest or expertise: Breast Cancer Detection and Diagnosis, Breast Tomosynthesis
Board Certification: Medical Oncology Clinical interest or expertise: Breast Cancer
Board Certification: Diagnostic Radiology Clinical interest or expertise: Mammography, Ob/GYN Ultrasound, Pediatric Radiology, Ultrasound, Women's Imaging
Board Certification: Diagnostic Radiology Clinical interest or expertise: Breast Imaging
Board Certification: Radiation Oncology Clinical interest or expertise: Head and Neck Cancer, Lung Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Oncology
Board Certification: Diagnostic Radiology Clinical interest or expertise: Breast Imaging
Board Certification: Radiation Oncology Clinical interest or expertise: Image Guided Radiotherapy, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
Board Certification: Hematology, Medical Oncology, Internal Medicine Clinical interest or expertise: Breast Cancer
Patients may be referred to the Mass General/North Shore Breast Health Center for a variety of services, or at any point in the care process. Second opinions are also available to help determine the best course of treatment.
Screening mammograms are provided at the Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care in Danvers and at four North Shore Medical Center facilities (list below).
Breast tomosynthesis is available at:
No physician referrals are necessary for women over the age of 40. When you call, please indicate which of our locations is most convenient for you:
Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care 102 Endicott Street,1st floor Danvers, MA 01923
One Hutchinson Drive Danvers, MA 01923
NSMC Union Hospital 500 Lynnfield Street Lynn, MA 01904
NSMC Salem Hospital 81 Highland Avenue Salem, MA 01970
All Mass General facilities for mammography are licensed and accredited by the American College of Radiology, the FDA and the Radiation Control Program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
If you are a new patient, please contact the Mass General Registration and Referral Center at 978-882-6899 before calling the Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care. The Registration and Referral Center will assign you a patient number, which you will need to make an appointment with a physician.
Please have the following information available when you register:
After you obtain your patient number, please call one of the numbers below to schedule an appointment with a breast cancer specialist.
Mass General/North Shore Breast Surgery service: 877-251-7874 Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center: 978-882-6060
The Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care is open from 7 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday. Emergency or overnight medical care is not available at this facility.
To refer a patient, please call 978-882-6161.
102 Endicott Street, 1st floor Imaging Department Danvers, MA 01923 Phone: 978-882-6161
The Mass General/North Shore Breast Health Center is dedicated to helping women stay one step ahead of breast cancer through annual screening and by providing the most advanced diagnosis and treatment available to our patients. Our patients receive personal, confidential care that is designed by a multidisciplinary team to meet their individual needs.
The Breast Health Center offers the full spectrum of mammography screening and diagnostic exams, including:
We offer convenient screening mammography at the Mass General/North Shore Breast Health Center and through North Shore Medical Center sites in Salem, Lynn, Danvers and Gloucester. All of our breast health facilities have been accredited by the American College of Radiology and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Radiation Control Program.
All mammography performed at the Mass General/North Shore Breast Health Center uses digital technology. This enables the radiologist to review electronic images of the breast on special high-resolution monitors and adjust the brightness, change contrast and zoom in for close ups of specific areas of interest which can lead to a more accurate diagnosis. Another advantage of digital mammography is that it reduces the need for additional images, therefore reducing exposure to radiation.
A diagnostic mammogram is used to evaluate a patient with abnormal breast symptoms or after an abnormal screening mammogram to determine the cause of the area of concern. Diagnostic exams are performed under direct supervision of an expert radiologist who interprets the images as they are taken and conveys results to the patient before they leave the appointment. If a suspicious area is detected, patients can work with their expert care team to promptly schedule a follow-up appointment or additional diagnostic procedures.
Breast tomosynthesis is a new type of mammogram pioneered at Massachusetts General Hospital. Also called 3D mammography, it takes images from multiple angles and uses computer processing to build these “slices” into a 3D image that a radiologist can manipulate, providing a clearer, more accurate view of the breast. This enables doctors to pinpoint the size, shape and location of abnormalities more effectively. Performed at the same time as a standard mammogram and used as a complement to improve a radiologists’ ability to screen for and detect potential breast cancers, breast tomosynthesis can result in fewer callbacks, better detection and greater peace of mind.
Ultrasound technology uses sound waves, rather than radiation, to produce a diagnostic image. It can distinguish between benign fluid-filled cysts and solid masses that may be cancerous, so it is often used to evaluate a patient after an abnormal mammogram.
Breast MRI is an important tool in screening for and treating breast cancer because it can help distinguish between benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) areas. It is suitable for some women with dense breast tissue or classified as having high risk for breast cancer. In women with newly discovered cancer in one breast, breast MRI is often used to thoroughly examine both the breast with the tumor and the other breast. Breast MRI is also used to assess whether cancer has spread, to plan surgery and to judge the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
At the Mass General/North Shore Breast Health Center, multidisciplinary teams of breast surgery experts evaluate and diagnose conditions from benign breast disease to breast cancer. Working in concert with experts from the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center and the Mass General Cancer Center, they map out an individual course of treatment tailored to each patient’s specific needs and diagnosis. In addition, they work in tandem with plastic surgeons to provide the best options for breast reconstruction, if necessary. Immediate reconstructive (plastic) surgery is possible in nearly all patients.
Mass General/North Shore Breast Health Center surgeons are specially trained to treat breast cancer. They perform:
During a surgical biopsy, a breast surgeon will remove a sample of the lump or the suspicious area in the breast and send it for evaluation by a specialized pathologist. This biopsy may be aided by a pre-operative needle localization procedure, in which a breast radiologist uses mammographic or ultrasound guidance to place a thin localizing wire into the tissue to target the area to be biopsied. Surgical breast biopsies are outpatient surgical procedures, usually taking about one hour.
Surgeons at the Breast Health Center work collaboratively with medical oncologists and radiation oncologists at the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center to plan out the best course of treatment for each patient. In many cases, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be required after surgery and can be provided here at the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center.
Our Breast Health Center surgeons use the most advanced techniques for the surgical treatment of breast cancer. Part of the evaluation of patients with invasive breast cancer is the testing of lymph nodes in the areas surrounding the breast to see if cancer has spread outside of the breast. Knowing whether tumor cells have spread to lymph nodes helps guide recommendations for treatment, including chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and radiation therapy.
Lymphatic mapping with sentinel-node biopsy removes only the lymph nodes closest to the breast, which are the ones most likely to harbor cancer if the cancer has spread. By sparing most of the lymph nodes in the armpit area, there is a much lower risk of lymphedema, or arm swelling.
For women who prefer reconstruction after mastectomy, our breast cancer surgeons work closely with plastic and reconstructive surgeons to evaluate the woman’s goals, medical history, physical condition and potential need for additional cancer treatment to decide on the best type of reconstruction for each patient.
Our breast reconstructive surgeons can offer women a number of reconstructive options, most of which can be done at the time of the mastectomy. Our breast surgeons have expertise in performing skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomies.
Implant-based reconstruction may be performed in a single-stage procedure in which the permanent breast implant is placed at the time of mastectomy. Alternatively, a two-stage procedure may be performed. In a two-stage reconstruction, a saline-filled tissue expander is placed into the site of the removed breast. After surgery, the tissue expander is gradually filled over a series of office visits until the desired volume is reached. Once this is done, the tissue expander is surgically removed and a permanent breast implant, either saline- or silicone-filled, is placed in the cavity created by the expander.
Another method of reconstruction involves transferring tissue from the abdomen or back to construct a breast from the patient’s own tissues. With most forms of reconstruction, either the patient’s original nipple is spared and reattached or her skin is used later to reconstruct a nipple, which is subsequently tattooed the same color as the other nipple.
Learn more about the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service at the Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
The multidisciplinary breast cancer clinic at the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center provides patients with access to specialists with a wide range of expertise, including medical oncology, radiation oncology and breast surgery – all working together to provide the highest quality care in a timely and coordinated fashion. Our experts will also offer a second opinion to help patients evaluate their treatment options.
Treatment is offered for the following breast cancer conditions:
We work closely with patients to help them transition from diagnosis to treatment. Each patient’s case is reviewed by a breast surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, pathologist and nurses who create a comprehensive and individualized treatment plan. Our patients also have full access to the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center if additional care is needed.
Individual courses of treatment may include the following innovative approaches:
Our medical oncologists work with specialized breast surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists and other members of the care team to determine the best course of treatment. We use the latest chemotherapy regimens and anti-estrogen therapies to achieve the best possible results for each patient. Some women may have the option of starting with systemic chemotherapy treatment (neoadjuvant therapy) before surgery is performed. Shrinking a tumor in advance through chemotherapy can avoid extensive breast surgery to remove a tumor. The neoadjuvant approach also can help oncologists determine how well a tumor is responding to treatment. In some cases, chemotherapy may be required after surgery, and radiation therapy is always required after a lumpectomy to destroy any possible remaining cancer cells. Our oncologists also may use oncotype tumor testing, which helps determine the likelihood of the breast cancer recurring and whether a patient is likely to benefit from commonly used chemotherapy regimens.
Our radiation oncologists offer patients the latest treatment regimens and innovative techniques such as partial breast and prone breast radiation therapy. State-of-the-art linear accelerators provide radiation therapy, including intensity modulated radiation therapy that is targeted and exact. These options target the cancer while reducing radiation exposure to the heart, lungs and other surrounding organs and tissue.
Some patients have an increased risk of developing breast cancer based on their family history. Our team of certified genetic counselors is available to meet with patients to discuss genetic testing and gather the information they need to make informed healthcare decisions.
Our patients have access to clinical trials of new treatments and therapies with the goal of improving patient care and advancing scientific knowledge. Massachusetts General Hospital offers one of New England’s largest clinical trial programs. Eligible patients can participate at any stage of disease. Patients are encouraged to speak with their oncologists about enrolling in clinical trials that may be appropriate for them.
To learn more about eligibility and participation in clinical trials, contact the clinical trials team at 978-882-6032 or search clinical trials.
Patients with an increased risk for breast cancer based on family history or personal health will work with a special team of breast experts and medical oncologists to assess options and manage their care. Recommendations may include earlier, more frequent and advanced diagnostic testing, genetic testing and counseling, breast cancer prevention medications or a change of lifestyle factors. For more information, visit the Center for Cancer Risk Assessment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
At the Mass General/North Shore Breast Health Center, we offer diagnostic testing and other procedures to help women and their care team gather all the information they need to produce the most effective treatment plan.
Based on the results of a mammogram, a physician may choose to extract fluid or tissue from the breast and have it analyzed in the lab for the presence of cancer cells. The procedure is called a biopsy. It can be done using a needle to sample a piece of the area of concern, or it can be done with surgery.
These procedures may be performed at the Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care or North Shore Medical Center.
A physician may use this procedure when a breast mass can easily be felt. A thin needle is inserted into the area of concern and fluid or a small amount of tissue is extracted and analyzed for cancer cells.
Ultrasound technology is used to guide physicians as they remove fluid from a breast cyst for relief of symptoms or diagnosis; the fluid may be analyzed for cancer cells.
Ultrasound technology is used to guide a needle biopsy, which removes fluid or tissue from the breast for analysis without the need for surgery.
Mammography (X-ray from two angles) and a computer guidance system are used to guide a needle biopsy for lesions that are best seen on mammography images.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guides the radiologist in obtaining a small tissue sample for biopsy.
Breast radiologists use either mammography or ultrasound technology to guide placement of a localizing wire. The wire helps the breast surgeon to identify the area to be biopsied.
Cancer can affect every aspect of a patient’s life, from the physical to the emotional, mental and spiritual. At the Mass General/North Shore Breast Health Center, we support the whole patient, as well as her family members and other caregivers, by providing services to help cope with the effects of cancer and treatment.
A hallmark feature of the Breast Health Center is our dedicated Breast Health Navigator program. The navigator is a nurse with extensive experience in women’s health who can guide patients through diagnosis and treatment. She provides coordination, information and support. She is first introduced to patients following an abnormal diagnostic mammogram.
Complementary therapies provided by the HOPES Program and the NSMC Wellness and Integrative Medicine program, including acupuncture, reiki and massage therapy. Therapies are provided at no cost or for a reduced fee for Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center patients.
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