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The Breast Cancer Treatment Team

June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
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The Breast Cancer Treatment Team

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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.

These are some of the specialists you may meet or 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 or radiation therapy.
  • Medical oncologist -A doctor who administers anticancer drugs or chemotherapy.
  • Pathologist -A doctor who examines tissue removed by biopsy to see if the tissue is cancer.
  • 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 -A doctor who specializes in rehabilitative and cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeons perform breast reconstruction.
  • Radiation oncologist -A 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 biopsy and mastectomy.

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