Breast Cancer Patient Education
Doctors Who Treat Breast Cancer
As your breast cancer is diagnosed, treated and managed, there may be several specialists you are referred to for care. The most common doctors that treat breast cancer patients are listed below:
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.
Diagnostic Radiologist - A radiologist utilizes radiologic methodologies to diagnose and treat diseases. This doctor will often perform diagnostic tests, such as mammograms (radiologists).
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 Oncologists - A radiologist who deals with the therapeutic applications of radiant energy and its modifiers and the study and management of disease, especially malignant tumors.
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 Surgeons - A plastic surgeon deals with the repair, reconstruction, or replacement of physical defects of form or function, involving the skin, musculoskeletal system, craniomaxillofacial structures, hand, extremities, breast and trunk, and external genitalia. With breast cancer patients, they often do reconstructive surgery.