Dealing with breast cancer is something that nobody should go through. But the sad reality of the fact is that people are frequently diagnosed with all types of cancer, breast cancer included. The initial shock of the diagnosis will wear off and you’ll be able to get your treatment underway.
Finding the best treatment possible can feel like the greatest challenge, especially when insurance companies don’t follow through with their job to keep you healthy. Whenever possible you want to find a surgeon that you can trust.
For anyone suffering from breast cancer or has had a family member diagnosed, here are some helpful tips for choosing among the best breast cancer surgeons in the United States.
Know who needs to be included in your treatment team.
As soon as you are officially diagnosed with breast cancer, you’ll get the chance to work with several specialists. Do your best to compile a team that is qualified that that you trust. The team members will most likely include a medical oncologist, a surgical oncologist, a chemotherapy specialist, and a social worker or caseworker.
You might also be assigned a registered dietician as well as an oncology nurse. Ensuring that you have built a team you can trust is crucial. Not only for your own comfort but also for the entire treatment process.
Find someone that can answer your questions in a way that you understand.
There is nothing worse than a medical doctor breezing into a room and throwing out medical jargon that you don’t understand. This can cause you to feel at a loss in regards to your treatment. It is your body and your treatment, so you should be able to fully grasp the entire process and know all of your available options.
Being able to ask questions and get straight-forward, easy-to-understand answers will allow you to be more comfortable with your team. Feel free to ask as many questions as possible, and never worry that you should already know the answer. First and foremost, make sure you understand the goals of treatment and the treatment options available.
Is the surgeon respectful to your concerns?
A surgeon’s “bedside manner” is actually more important than you’d think. Bedside manner refers to a medical doctor’s ability to not only perform medical tasks, but also interact with the patient. This involves thorough communication, being able to empathize, and making the patient feel comfortable in general.
It is not abnormal for a surgeon to act arrogant with a “I’m better than you” attitude. Don’t settle for a breast cancer surgeon that makes you feel less than. Find one that respects your questions, concerns, and one that you feel comfortable receiving treatment from.
Understand that sometimes a second opinion is necessary.
Receiving a second opinion is not just acceptable but sometimes it is also completely necessary. Getting another opinion on potential treatment methods will make you feel more confident in whatever decision you make – whether it is to tackle the cancer aggressively or take a different approach.