The treatment team

From the time that you are first diagnosed with breast cancer you will be cared for by one or more of a team of health professionals including:

  • your family doctor

  • breast care nurses, who specialise in the care of women with breast cancer

  • a breast surgeon, who specialises in breast diseases, and, sometimes, a (plastic) reconstructive surgeon

  • a pathologist, a doctor who diagnoses disease by studying cells and tissues under a microscope

  • a radiation oncologist, a doctor who specialises in the use of radiation in the treatment of cancer

  • a medical oncologist, a doctor who specialises in the use of drug treatments for cancer

  • radiation therapists, who prepare you and give you your radiation treatment

  • oncology nurses who give chemotherapy and monoclonal antibody treatments, and support you through your treatment

  • dieticians, who will recommend the most suitable foods to eat

  • social workers, counsellors, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists, who will advise you on the support services available, and help you get back to normal activities.

Ideally, your hospital should have all available means of diagnosis and treatment, although this will not be the case in some areas.