More options available for breast cancer patients

6:31 PM, Mar 6, 2012   |    comments
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WATERVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, the primary goal is treating and surviving the cancer. They also face other key decisions, including breast reconstrution. One hospital in Central Maine is giving patients more options to help them get on the road to recovery sooner.

Like many women it was news from her doctor Jean Davenport never expected to hear.

"It was a life changing experiences, you don't think that one day that somebody is going to say 'you have cancer,'" said Davenport.

A routine mamogram led to the detection of a fast growing cancer in one her breasts. Because of concerns the cancer may spread to her other breast, davenport knew what she had to have done.

"I had made up my mind from the very beginning that I would have the double mastectomy and have reconstructive surgery, do what I need to do to stay alive. I have four children and 9 grandchildren,' said Davenport.

Breast Care coordinators at Maine General Hospital set up a treatment plan and coordinated all of Davenport's care from the Oncologist to the Radiation Therapist. Now, the hospital also has the capability to perform reconstruction immediately after a mastectomy. Dr. Donald Schassberger is a plastic surgeon. He says in the past patients would have come back to have reconstruction on a different day.

Dr. Schassberger is in the operating room at the beginning of the mastectomy. He starts working on the patient once that procedure is complete.

Now a year and half later, Davenport is cancer free. She feels like she looks natural in her clothes and is very pleased with the results. But more importantly being able to have the procedures done at the same time allowed her to heal and move forward with her life. that includes giving back and suppporting others who are fighting cancer.

If you would like more about the Breast Care program at Maine General you can go to http://mainegeneral.org . If you would like to know what surgery options are available to breast cancer patients you can go to http://cancer.org  

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