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Members of Your Breast Cancer Treatment Team

Part of the Breast Cancer For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Breast cancer patients have a whole team of caring and attentive health professionals who are focused on helping you beat the disease. Here's the roster for your breast cancer team:

  • The Doctors

    Primary care doctor: Refers you to breast cancer specialist.

    Pathologist: Looks at your tissue samples to determine whether they're cancerous.

    Radiologist: Determines the extent of your cancer using mammography, ultrasound, and more. May also do a biopsy.

    Medical oncologist: Helps you decide on which drug treatment is best for you. Will be in charge of your medical treatment for cancer.

    Radiation oncologist: Administers your radiation treatment.

    Surgical oncologist: Does biopsy, and operates on you for a lumpectomy or mastectomy.

    Plastic or reconstructive surgeon: Reconstructs your breast.

    Anesthesiologist: Gives you anesthesia (knocks you out — in a good way) during surgery.

  • Other Key Members

    Nurse: Assists in your care before and after treatment.

    Oncology nurse: Coordinates your care and works jointly with other team members to provide you with the most effective care

    Social worker: Helps you emotionally, with problem solving, with insurance, and with other logistics.

    Radiology technologist: Positions you for X-rays and mammograms.

    Physical therapist: Helps your body heal by showing how to move, stretch, and exercise.

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