Breast Cancer Treatment Team
The people on your breast cancer treatment team are focused on helping you get better. Some of the people on your breast cancer treatment team include people who specialize in the treatment of cancer, such as oncologists, radiologists, surgeons, and psychologists. Your primary care doctor will also likely remain involved as part of your breast cancer treatment team.
Breast Cancer Treatment Team: A SummaryOnce your doctor has all the specific information about your breast cancer, you will talk about the treatments considered appropriate for your case. No one doctor is able to provide all the care and services you may need, and you will quickly learn about new people who will be on your treatment team. Your breast cancer treatment team may include medical experts such as a(n):
- Anesthesiologist: A doctor who gives drugs or gases that keep you comfortable during surgery.
- Gynecologist: A doctor who specializes in the care and treatment of women's reproductive systems. This doctor, or your primary care doctor, can serve as the manager and main source of information among your treatment team members and you.
- Nutritionist or dietitian: A healthcare professional with specialized training in nutrition who can offer help and choices about the foods you eat.
- Oncologist, medical oncologist, or cancer specialist: A doctor who uses chemotherapy or hormonal therapy to treat cancer. This specialist can put together all the information about your case and can discuss your treatment choices with you.
- Oncology nurse: A nurse with special training in caring for cancer patients. You may also receive care from a clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner.
- Oncology pharmacy specialist: A person who prepares anticancer drugs in consultation with the oncologist and who can answer your questions about chemotherapy.
- Pathologist: A doctor who examines tissues and cells under a microscope to determine if they are normal or abnormal.
- Physical therapist: A healthcare professional who teaches exercises that help restore arm and shoulder movement and that help build back strength after breast cancer surgery.
- Plastic surgeon or reconstructive surgeon: A doctor who can surgically rebuild (reconstruct) your breast.
- Primary care doctor: The doctor who usually manages your healthcare and who can discuss cancer treatment choices with you.
- Psychologist: A specialist who can talk with you and your family about emotional and personal matters, and who can help you make decisions.
- Radiation oncologist: A doctor who uses radiation therapy to treat cancer.
- Radiation therapist: A healthcare professional who gives radiation treatments.
- Radiologist: A doctor with special training in reading x-rays and performing specialized x-ray procedures.
- Social worker: A professional who can talk with you and your family about your emotional or physical needs and who can help you find support services. An oncology social worker has specific training in working with cancer patients.
- Surgeon or surgical oncologist: A doctor who performs biopsies and other surgical procedures, such as removing a lump (lumpectomy) or a breast (mastectomy).