When Hematology-Oncology Associates began seeing cancer patients in Lewiston in the mid-1970s, it was the first specialty practice of its kind in the western and central Maine region. Today, the practice is a cornerstone of the Central Maine Comprehensive Cancer Center, providing services at Central Maine Medical Center, Bridgton Hospital, Rumford Hospital, and Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick.
Medical oncologists are specially trained doctors who diagnose and treat cancer using chemotherapy, biological therapy and hormonal therapy. Assisted by specially trained, oncology-certified nurse practitioners, pharmacists, nurses and social workers, these physicians offer all aspects of cancer treatment, symptom management and supportive care. Hematology-Oncology Associates features a comfortable, state-of-the-art, 20-station infusion center that provides chemotherapy, biotherapy, hydration, antibiotic therapy and blood product transfusion services. The practice also has surgical oncology and genetic counseling on site, and offers the assistance of licensed clinical social workers.
Hematology-Oncology Associates is affiliated with the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, a relationship that offers Maine patients with complex cancers the most advanced treatments available and access to over 300 clinical research trials.
The practice is certified by the American Society of Clinical Oncologists Quality Oncology Practice Initiative. It is also accredited, with commendation, by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
Radiation is a frequently used cancer treatment tool. Doctors called radiation oncologists, working with a highly skilled team, carefully plan the use of radiation to treat cancer and reduce cancer-related symptoms.
Central Maine Medical Center was the first hospital in central and western Maine to create a radiation therapy service. The Cynthia A. Rydholm Cancer Treatment Center, opened in 1983, remains on the technical forefront in radiation therapy with newly updated treatment equipment. The center’s radiation oncologists are residency-trained and board-certified in their specialty. Other members of the radiation oncology team include specially trained nurses, dosimetrists, physicists, and radiation therapists.
Treatment options for patients at the Rydholm Center are individually chosen and customized to provide the best possible care for each patient. External beam radiation treatments are often enhanced through intensity modulation and image guidance in order to help minimize radiation damage to normal tissues. Stereotactic radiotherapy is offered, in which certain lung and other tumors can be treated with just a few, high dose, precisely focused treatments. A superficial therapy unit is available for the treatment of certain skin cancers. In addition, prostate brachytherapy is offered, which involves implantation of radioactive seeds in the prostate gland for the treatment of prostate cancer.
The radiation center is affiliated with the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston. This allows for local patients with rare or complex cancers to receive expert second opinions in a timely way, as well as to provide access to certain radiation options, such as proton radiotherapy, that cannot be done in Maine.
The practice is accredited by the American College of Radiologists.
Central Maine Medical Center's Sam and Jennie Bennett Breast Care Center provides the complete spectrum of breast care services for women and men, ranging from early cancer detection screening mammography to the latest advancements in multidisciplinary care of high-risk breast cancer patients.
The Bennett Center’s supportive and highly qualified team of care providers includes:
The Bennett Center’s care team participates in bi-weekly conferences to review each breast cancer patient’s information and develop a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan.
Diagnostic services include digital mammography, breast ultrasound and biopsy. Other services are breast cancer risk assessments, prosthetic referral, on-going community education and various support services.
The Bennett Center is an integral part of the Central Maine Comprehensive Cancer Center, and works in collaboration with The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing to provide education, support and wellness services that enhance the quality of life of individuals, families and communities touched by cancer.
The Sam and Jennie Bennett Breast Care Center was established in 1997 to provide the very best in comprehensive breast care to women and men from throughout the central, western and mid-coast region. It is a place of compassion and focused support, embracing the whole person – body, mind and spirit – in a respectful, inclusive and healing environment that helps women and men find strength and confidence in coping with breast disease.
The Central Maine Comprehensive Cancer Center offers the resources that cancer patients and their loved ones need.
Oncology Social Workers
CMMC’s oncology social workers specialize in providing counseling support to cancer patients and their families. They assist with emotional, spiritual, financial and practical needs that often arise with a cancer diagnosis.
CMMC’s financial counselors can assist patients and their loved ones with navigating financial challenges that can arise as individuals and families cope with a cancer diagnosis. Topics include insurance coverage, co-pays, deductibles, MaineCare, and Medicare.
Hearing a diagnosis, undergoing treatment, living with cancer . . . all while striving to fulfill life's purpose . . . involves evaluating beliefs, values and meaning. Support is often desired when questions arise about what truly matters. CMMC’s Pastoral Care team can help those facing life’s questions.
Extended treatment schedules or hospitalization can be an emotional, exhausting, and traumatic time for patients and their loved ones. For families from out of town, dealing with issues like housing, meals, and transportation can become an expensive and trying burden. Recognizing these challenges, CMMC created The Arbor House, a temporary lodging facility offered free of charge to patients and their travel companion.
The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing
The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing is an integral part of cancer care at The Central Maine Comprehensice Cancer Center, providing free support, education, outreach and wellness services to anyone affected by cancer. Visit the Dempsey Center’s website to learn more about this unique service.
Streamlined access to one of the world’s top cancer programs is available to patients at Central Maine Medical Center, Bridgton Hospital, Rumford Hospital, and Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick.
CMMC and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center have a collaborative program connecting patients from central, western and mid-coast Maine to cancer care subspecialists in Boston.
When patients need the services of a top academic cancer center, the MGH connection allows CMMC and its affiliated hospitals to quickly arrange their care at a world-renowned cancer program. The system is so well organized that patients needing an additional level of service are frequently astonished at how fast and seamlessly it can be delivered. Patients are sometimes seen within 24 hours of referral.
As importantly, once a patient has received specialty services at MGH, necessary follow-up services are often provided back home in Maine.
MGH has treatment programs for some 40 different cancers. In addition, the hospital’s transportation system greatly eases the burden of travel for Maine patients.
Central Maine Medical Center's Comprehensive Cancer Center is approved and accredited by the Commission on Cancer.
The accreditation recognizes CMMC's commitment to cancer patients and to the community. This is demonstrated by the scope of cancer services and care offered, and through the hospital's program of quality studies and implemented changes that improve access to care and patient outcomes.
CMMC received the highest level of accreditation, with a commendation as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Care Program.
Hematology-Oncology Associates is recognized by the QOPI certification program, which is an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and its Quality Oncology Practice Initiative. The QOPI certification program provides a three-year certification for outpatient hematology oncology practices that meet high standards for quality cancer care.
The Cynthia A. Rydholm Cancer Treatment Center is approved by the Radiation Oncology Practice Accreditation program. This approval entails an impartial peer review and evaluation of patient care at radiation therapy facilities, including each service’s personnel, equipment, treatment planning, record keeping, patient-safety policies, and quality management.
The Sam and Jennie Bennett Breast Care Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a consortium of organizations dedicated to the improvement of quality care and outcomes for patients with diseases of the breast. ANPBC evaluates individual breast care centers by considering 17 program components, as well as numerous standards of care.