In a prior article, I wrote about the doctors who make up part of your cancer team following a breast cancer diagnosis. You may also have to meet other professionals who also contribute greatly to your care and wellbeing. See a list below:
- The Research Associate. If you are a candidate for a clinical trial, this professional will help get you enrolled and will be involved in following your course.
- The Genetic Counselor. If there is reason to suspect that you may have a genetic reason for your cancer, you may have to meet this professional. He/she will discuss whether you may be a candidate for genetic testing.
- The Breast Cancer Navigator. This professional is increasingly available at many institutions and may be an individual with a nursing background. You can expect them to help you remember and get to all your appointments with several members of your cancer team. They may help to remind you of what doctors recommend.
- Therapists. You may have to meet a physical and/or occupational therapist, if you have any functional limitations. For example, after surgery involving the breast cancer and underarm, there may be a risk of swelling in the arm (or lymphedema) or stiffness around the shoulder. A physical therapist can help treat these problems.
- Social Worker. A cancer diagnosis often launches a period of treatments and frequent medical appointments. It may be necessary to take time off work. There may be financial and childcare concerns. A social worker can help connect with community resources that may be helpful.
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