The most important doctor

The most important doctor throughout your treatment is the medical oncologist. A doctor who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer in adults using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy. A medical oncologist often is the main health care provider for someone who has cancer.

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Mastectomy

After all the tests, doctors’ appointments and discussions I choose to have a bilateral mastectomy. During this procedure, the surgical oncologist removes the breast and all of the surrounding breast tissue to prevent the disease from coming back. He will also do a lymph-node dissection to check if there are any infected lymph-nodes. If that’s the case, the chances of the cancer spreading to other areas of your body increases.

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Assembling your care team

Immediately following your diagnosis, you need to start thinking about your care team. After my first appointment with my Surgical Oncologist, I learned a lot and had a better understanding what doctors I needed in my care team.

The surgical oncologist is the person who will remove the cancer from your body. In my case, he did the mastectomy and lymph node dissection. In preparation for the surgery, I had to do a battery of test. More about this in the next post.

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Step away from Google

If you type “breast cancer” in the Google search bar within seconds it will give you 526,000,000 (yes, that’s 526 million) results.

Google is a beautiful tool and it can make you absolutely crazy if you allow yourself. There are so many different stories of survivors, each with their own approach on how they faced the disease, there is a lot to learn and…

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Biopsy

The process of the biopsy is quite uncomfortable. You are lying on the table in a dark room and the ultrasound technician, with the use of a wand, projects the right spot on the screen for the doctor to go in with a pretty wide needle to first aspirate a piece of the identified tissue and then insert what they call a marker. A small metal piece, in my case the letter U and one in the shape of a traffic light. The marker is left at the place where they removed a piece of tissue. They do this so, if it’s cancer, the surgeon will know exactly where to locate it. 

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