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Just diagnosed with breast cancer: Healthcare Provider's Office

How can I better understand my breast cancer diagnosis?

It is okay if you do not understand right away all that your doctor or healthcare provider tells you about your breast cancer diagnosis. What is important is that you ask your doctor or healthcare provider about the things you do not understand. If you don't feel that you can talk with your doctor or healthcare provider, talk with a different member of your healthcare team, such as a nurse. Ask them to explain things by using other words or by showing you a picture or diagram of what they are talking about. You can also ask them to give you some written information to take home to read.

To the right are examples of organizations and resources you may find helpful. Click on the links to visit those websites and learn more.


Who is on my breast cancer healthcare team?

Treating breast cancer is a team effort. Many types of healthcare providers make up a breast cancer treatment team:

  • Medical oncologist: A doctor who specializes in cancer
  • Radiation oncologist: A doctor who specializes in treating cancer with radiation
  • Surgeon: A doctor who specializes in performing operations on people with breast cancer
  • Oncology nurse: A nurse who specializes in cancer
  • Registered dietitian: An expert in nutrition
  • Plastic surgeon: A doctor who specializes in breast reconstruction
  • Oncology social worker: A social worker who specializes in cancer
  • Genetic counselor: A healthcare professional who is trained to help patients and their families understand genetic disorders and provide information and support to patients and their families
  • Nurse navigator: A nurse who specializes in navigating the cancer care system for patients by offering them medical guidance, acting as a support system for patients and their families, and walking patients and their families through the cancer treatment process

To the right are examples of organizations and resources you may find helpful. Click on the links to visit those websites and learn more.


What should I talk about with my doctor or healthcare provider after learning I have breast cancer?

Your doctor or healthcare provider is there to help answer any questions you have about breast cancer. To learn the most from your doctor or healthcare provider, it is important to be open and honest. And ask any questions you have about breast cancer, even if you think they are about something that is not important. It may help to write your questions down ahead of time and take notes during your visit.

To the right are examples of organizations and resources you may find helpful. Click on the links to visit those websites and learn more.

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