Getting Treated For Breast Cancer
After a breast cancer diagnosis, you face many decisions. Perhaps the most crucial will be which doctors treat your medical condition. You probably never thought you would have to visit a doctor whose specialty is treating cancer. Now that you have been thrown into this medical world, you need a strong foundation made up of doctors whom you trust at both the medical and emotional levels.
While each cancer patient has distinct needs and experiences, some generalities can help you select your team of doctors. Typically, many doctors each play a different role in your treatment, and your options and resources may vary based upon your geographic location.
Types of doctors
The various steps of your treatment will require visits to various specialists. This list is not exhaustive, but it will give you a good idea of your team's players and positions.
A breast surgeon/specialist is tasked with surgically removing the tumor from your breast, through lumpectomy or mastectomy. She also may also extract lymph nodes for testing.
A plastic surgeon conducts the reconstruction of the breast(s), following the operation to remove the tumor. Reconstruction options vary, depending on the patient's medical needs and desires.
An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in cancer treatment. He helps determine your treatment and efforts to prevent recurrence.
Selecting a doctor
Below are a few pointers to keep in mind when choosing the doctors who will help you beat cancer:
Overall, you need a competent, compassionate team of doctors who will answer your questions honestly and effectively, while treating your breast cancer. This is your life, and you deserve to be under the best care possible.