No one wants to receive a breast cancer diagnosis. The unfortunate fact is that many people receive one every year. It has been estimated that about one in every eight women in the United States will develop this disease at some point during their lives. Experts say that about 252,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will will be discovered by the end of 2017. Another 63,400 thousand cases of non-invasive (also called in situ). If you receive this kind of diagnosis, you will want to find the best breast cancer doctor for you and your needs.
Tips for Finding the Right Breast Cancer Doctor:
- Talk to your doctors. The doctor who initially diagnoses your case (this may be your primary care doctor or your gynecologist) can be a valuable resource. There are new treatments that are being developed all of the time. While you should wait to talk to a breast cancer doctor to map out your plan for your case, your primary care doctor or your gynecologist knows you and may have an idea of what doctors will be best for your situation. For example, proton therapy for breast cancer has come a long way in recent years and you may find that will work for you.
- Talk to the people in your life whom you trust. Given the prevalence of breast cancer these days, the chances are very good that you know someone whose life has been touched by breast or other cancer. Talk to your friends and family and see if they have any suggestions. All breast cancer treatments are very specific to the patient so, in the long run, you may not go to the same breast cancer doctor as your friend, coworker or family member but you can use their suggestions to build a list that you can use as a starting point.
- Do some online research. After you get some names from the people you trust, take some time to look into your options. Look online. There are a lot of websites out there that offer information about all kinds of doctors. There are also a lot of resources where patients review and comment on their experiences with physicians other medical professionals. You should take some of the comments with at least a grain of salt because people are much more likely to complain than to compliment so keep that in mind.
- Call your health insurance provider. Finding the best breast cancer doctor for your needs will do you little good if you are not able to pay for your cancer treatment therapy. Once you have a list of breast cancer doctors, talk to your insurance provider and see if any of the people you have researched are covered by your plan. They may also be able to give you more information about breast cancer specialists in your area.
- Interview several doctors. Finding the best breast cancer doctor is more personal a project than finding a new mechanic. Call around and talk to several practitioners and their staffs. You do not have to go to the fist physician you talk to. In fact, you may want to get a second (or third) opinion. You need to really be able to connect with the people who will be working on your care. You will have questions and you should find someone who will take the time to do just that.
- Research your treatment options. As was already mentioned, there are new therapies for all kinds of cancer that are advancing all of the time. Ask what type of cancer you have and look into what new treatments may be available. Go into your meetings with the different doctors and medical professionals with a list of questions you need answered. More and more people are going into their doctors’ office armed with new research and thoughts about their treatment. Knowing what you expect as you start any kind of treatment can a very big difference for you.
Cancer is scary. Many people are terrified of this diagnosis but treatments are advancing and the outcomes are getting better all of the time. Take the time to find the right doctor for you.