The Breast Cancer Treatment Team
During your treatment you are likely to meet several health professionals who will perform the various tests and treatments your doctor recommends. It may be difficult at first to talk with them about your illness and your feelings about treatment, but each of them can offer information to help you feel more at ease. By talking with the professionals who care for you, you will come to understand more about cancer and its treatment and be better able to cope.
In addition to the surgical and medical treatment of your cancer, you may also want to consider integrating holistic therapies into your treatment plan to enhance and promote your healing process.
These are some of the specialists you may meet and hear about:
Anesthesiologist – A doctor who administers drugs or gases to put you to sleep before surgery.
Clinical nurse specialist – A nurse with special knowledge in a particular area, such as postoperative care orradiation therapy.
Medical oncologist – The doctor who administers anti-cancer drugs or chemotherapy.
Pathologist – Doctor who examines tissue removed by biopsy to see if it is cancerous.
Personal physician – Your doctor, who will be responsible for coordinating your treatment and working with you to ensure that treatment is satisfactory. Your personal physician may be a surgeon, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist or family physician.
Physical therapist – A specialist who helps in rehabilitation after surgery by using exercise, heat, light, and massage.
Plastic surgeon – Doctor who specializes in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeons perform breast reconstruction.
Radiation oncologist – Doctor who supervises radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy technologist – A specially trained technician who helps the radiation oncologist give external radiation treatments.
Surgeon – A doctor who performs surgery, such as biopsies,mastectomies and axillary node dissections.