Doctors and Specialists
You may deal with several doctors or specialists during your treatment for breast cancer, each focused on a different aspect of care. The care team for your condition may include some or all of the following providers:
Primary Care Physician: This doctor is often the patient’s regular doctor and may be the first physician to recommend further tests or procedures to be done by a specialist.
Breast Surgeon: A surgeon skilled in operating on the breast. Breast surgeons often perform biopsies on a tumor found in the breast. They will also remove the tumor or breast if necessary. Some breast surgeons also do reconstructive surgery.
Radiologist: A radiologist is a physician who specializes in the use of medical imaging to diagnose and treat illnesses or injuries in patients. The different types of medical imaging are X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound and nuclear medicine.
Medical Oncologist: An internist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer and other benign and malignant tumors. This specialist decides on and administers chemotherapy for malignancy, as well as consulting with surgeons and radiotherapists on other treatments for cancer.
Radiation Oncologist: A radiation oncologist is a physician who specializes in the use of nuclear medicine in diagnosing and treating cancer in a patient.
Genetic Counselor: This specialist evaluates a patient’s personal risk factors for breast cancer. A genetic counselor will review a patient’s personal family history and assess cancer patterns. They also look at lifestyle factors to determine a more accurate risk assessment. After, they work with the patient to develop strategies to lessen the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
Plastic Surgeon: A plastic surgeon deals with the repair, reconstruction or replacement of physical defects of form or function. Procedures may involve the skin, musculoskeletal system, craniomaxillofacial structures, hand, extremities, breast and trunk, and external genitalia. With breast cancer patients, they often do reconstructive surgery.