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Women’s Wellness Center Offers Convenient Access to Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Follow-up

February 5, 2020

The Women’s Wellness Center located at the Lowell General Hospital main campus offers a variety of services to help women in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Anne-Marie Wagner breast cancer patient and Dr. Gunturi

Supported in part by funds raised by TeamWalk for CancerCare, the Center offers a comprehensive Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program, a newly expanded Gynecologic Oncology Program, genetic testing services with our partner Myriad Genetics, Inc., specialized physical therapy appointments for breast cancer patients and the Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic.

Breast Cancer PreventionNow, every woman who has a mammogram at Lowell General Hospital is given an assessment score based on a brief history provided at the start of her mammogram. If a woman is identified as high risk, the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program provides an extra level of support, education and follow-up. Women may also be referred directly to the program by their providers.

A team comprised of nurse practitioners, breast surgeons, medical oncologists and breast imaging radiologists work together to discuss recommendations for risk-based breast screening and help develop a care plan based on each woman’s individual needs.

Genetic Testing
All cancer is caused by harmful changes, or mutations, in a person’s genes. If you have received a cancer diagnosis, you may have questions about the risk of other cancers occurring in your body and the risk of cancer developing in your family members.

Lowell General Hospital partners with Myriad Genetics, Inc. to provide fast and convenient testing services for patients who meet the criteria for genetic testing. A quick saliva sample is all it takes. The hereditary cancer panel looks for multiple genetic mutations associated with increased cancer risk for eight different cancers – breast, ovarian, colorectal, endometrial, melanoma, pancreatic, gastric and prostate – and results are usually obtained within two weeks.

Gynecologic Oncology
The Gynecologic Oncology Program brings the expertise of leading Boston-area specialists who work closely with our local OBGYN providers to offer an integrated approach to the diagnosis, surgical management and treatment of cancers of the female reproductive tract, such as ovarian, cervical and endometrial cancer.

Dr. Michael Muto, Dr. Sandra Feldman and Dr. John Schorge are also experts in other less common reproductive cancers and gynecological conditions and utilize the latest minimally invasive surgical approaches, including robotic surgery. Patients benefit by having easy access to experts in gynecological cancers and conditions so they can stay close to home for treatment and follow-up.

Specialized Physical Therapy
Kristen Foley, PT, CLT, is a certified physical therapist who has specialized training to successfully treat and manage lymphedema, which occurs when lymph nodes are removed because of cancer or targeted with radiation treatment. This can occur in many areas of the body, depending on where the affected lymph nodes are.

Treatment typically involves manual drainage of fluid, exercise and compression wraps to reduce fluid volume and use of compression garments for long-term management.

“A lot of patients don’t realize they can get physical therapy on their breasts,” says Foley. “We can do a lot of work with manual manipulation to break up scar tissue and resolve any issues early on with range of motion. When lymphedema is caught early, we can often reduce symptoms and prevent it from causing skin changes and infections.”

Patient Stories
Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program Targets Early Detection, Better Outcomes
Anne-Marie Wagner has always been careful about her health and kept up with her screenings, especially her annual mammograms.
Team of Experts at the Helm of the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program
Tufts Medicine Lowell General Hospital offers a comprehensive Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program for women identified to be at high risk of developing breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Risks + Mammogram Guidelines
Discover breast cancer risks and mammogram guidelines from Tufts Medicine, empowering proactive breast health decisions. Schedule your annual mammogram today.

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