A breast cancer diagnosis can leave you emotional and feeling overwhelmed with several questions. That's understandable. Our goal is to help you address some of these questions head-on, so you can properly prepare for your first appointment with the cancer care team.
Typically, the next step for breast cancer patients is to move from their PCP (primary care physician) or gynecologist to a medical oncologist. If possible, it's ideal to schedule with a breast cancer specialist. This is a medical oncologist who works extensively with breast cancer patients.
Compass Oncology's breast cancer care team includes medical oncologists and surgeons who specialize in the needs of breast cancer patients in Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA.
Request an appointment at a location near you for a consultation that includes a personalized treatment plan.
Surgery is a part of most breast cancer treatment plans. The timing of surgery will be decided together by your breast cancer surgeon and your medical oncologist.
Compass Oncology's breast surgical oncologists specialize in oncoplastic procedures to give the best cosmetic outcome possible.
Your care team will include several specialists, including:
Breast cancer can begin in different areas of the breast. Your breast specialist will discuss whether your breast cancer has hormone or HER2 protein receptors that make it grow and will use this to determine your breast cancer type and the treatments you may receive. Understand more about the types of breast cancer.
Breast cancer stages are typically expressed as a number on a scale of 0 through IV — with stage 0 representing contained, non-invasive cancers and stage IV representing cancers that have spread. The results of the biopsy and images taken will allow your oncologist to determine the extent of your breast cancer. Read more about breast cancer staging.
There are several different types of medical oncology treatments for breast cancer including chemotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy and immunotherapy. The right treatment plan for you is based on the type and stage of cancer.
At your first oncology appointment, you are going to get a lot of information in a short period of time. Here are some useful tips on how you can remember what you're told and keep track of questions you'd like to ask your breast cancer specialist.
To stay organized, we suggest getting a notebook to keep a record of important information. This can include information such as how you’re feeling and what medicines or supplements you’re taking, to any questions, thoughts, or observations you have regarding appointments and procedures. Try to put a date on everything you log down.
If a method other than paper works better for you, then commit to using it regularly. Having information written down (and on hand) can help keep the lines of communication open between you and your doctors.
Following breast cancer treatment, your doctors will want to monitor you closely. It’s very important to go to all of your follow-up appointments. These visits give your doctor an opportunity to address your questions and concerns, look for treatment-related side effects, and discuss other follow-up treatments that may be necessary, such as hormone therapy or reconstructive surgery.
Feeling confident about your breast cancer diagnosis is extremely important, which is why many patients choose to get a second opinion before beginning a specific treatment plan. At Compass Oncology, our physicians provide many second opinions on both breast cancer diagnosis and treatment options. Many insurance companies will cover a second opinion assessment, but it is still a good idea to contact your insurance provider for verification of coverage.
Watch the video below to learn about the importance of a second opinion for cancer diagnosis and treatment. The oncologists at Compass Oncology are available to discuss your test results, cancer diagnosis, and options for treatment.