Breast Cancer - Medical specialists

Here you will find medical experts in clinics and medical practices in the medical field Breast Cancer. All listed physicians are specialists in their field and have been carefully selected for you according to strict guidelines.
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Breast Cancer - Further information

In which specialist field are breast cancer specialists active?

A primary care doctor will refer any patient with suspected breast cancer to a breast cancer specialist for diagnosis and treatment. However, there is no medical field or board certification that deals specifically with breast cancer. That means breast cancer specialists are qualified to work in their field because of their primary specialism (which may be surgery, for example), as well as their experience and track record of providing the best possible outcomes for their patients.

  Mammo breast cancer wArrows

 

What this also means is that, depending on the type and stage of development of any particular breast cancer, the patient may be treated by a team of specialists. If so, each doctor’s breast cancer focus will be determined by their own medical specialism.
A team of breast cancer specialists may contain some or all of the following specialists:

  • medical oncologist – a doctor whose expertise lies in the medical treatment of cancers
  • surgical oncologist – a surgeon whose skills will focus on treating cancer via surgical interventions
  • radiologist – a doctor whose area of concern will be the use of medical imaging for cancer screening and diagnostic purposes
  • pathologist – a doctor who investigates tissue samples to check for the presence of cancer as part of a cancer screening or diagnostic process
  • radiation oncologist – a doctor who has been trained in treating cancer via radiation
  • plastic surgeon – a surgeon whose specialism is reconstructive breast surgery

Which illnesses do breast cancer specialists treat?

Breast cancer specialists will treat a whole range of breast cancers, according to their own medical specialisms. The most common cancers a breast cancer specialist will normally encounter are classified as either non-invasive or invasive cancers.

A breast cancer is classified as ‘non-invasive’ when it has not spread from its original breast location, nor has it spread to another region of the body.

  • ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – this is a breast cancer in its very early form.

The majority of breast cancers are classified as ‘invasive’. An invasive breast cancer has an identified potential to spread. This classification alone does not suggest it has spread, and any treatment will seek to prevent this occurring.

  • invasive ductal breast cancer (of no special type) is the most common form of breast cancer. It has no special features.
  • invasive lobular breast cancer is another common form of breast cancer. In this disease, cancerous cells in the breast lobules may spread into nearby breast tissue.
  • Paget’s disease of the breast is a less-common form of breast cancer. This disease can often appear as a red, scaly rash in the nipple area.

What treatment methods are used by breast cancer specialists?

The treatment a breast cancer specialist may recommend will depend upon the type of cancer and its stage of advancement, as well as other factors, such as the age of the patient. Doctors often adopt a multidisciplinary approach, using treatments from different fields of medicine in combination. Common treatments include:

Surgery

A surgical intervention will remove a cancerous tumour, often along with some healthy tissue from around the margins of the area, and possibly with a further sample from a nearby lymph node.

Typical surgical procedures include:

  • a mastectomy to remove all of a breast
  • a quadrantectomy to remove one-quarter of a breast
  • a lumpectomy to remove a smaller part a breast


If required, breast reconstruction surgery can take place once the cancerous tumour has been removed.

Surgical breast biopsy

 

Medication

Medication is often employed following surgery, and may include the following options:

Hormone blocking therapy
These medications work by denying cancer cells access to the oestrogen hormone they need for continued growth. Different drugs are available to meet the needs of women at different stages of their life.

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is an aggressive drug treatment that uses different combinations of substances designed to maximise the destruction of cancer cells. Though medications may act in slightly different ways, there is often some damage to healthy cells.

Monoclonal antibodies
This is a biological therapy, which again attempts to prevent the continued growth of cancer cells by targeting one of the specific proteins these cells produce. Cancer cell destruction may happen in a variety of ways – for example, by triggering the immune system.

Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is used in conjunction with surgery to kill off any remaining cancerous cells and to prevent the cancer recurring. The technique either involves an external beam of radiation, or brachytherapy, which targets the cancer site using internal radiation.

What additional qualifications are required by breast cancer specialists?

There are no additional qualifications that apply specifically to breast cancer specialists. Nevertheless, if a breast cancer doctor’s general qualifications and experience are suitable, the fact that he or she may have opted to extend their training by acquiring certification for extra specialities is a very promising aspect.

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