If a woman has an abnormal finding on a mammogram, further tests will confirm or rule out cancer.
While the vast majority will turn out to be benign conditions, the first stop for a woman who has a diagnosis of breast cancer is usually a breast surgeon.
“Getting seen quickly is important, both to relieve the woman’s anxiety and to plan her next steps, as the treatment plan is highly personalized to each patient,” commented Scott Albert, MD.
Albert is a surgeon and a member of a multidisciplinary team of breast cancer experts. Together, the team creates the treatment approach for breast patients.
The team also offers the expertise of fellowship-trained breast surgeons.
A fellowship is additional, advanced training after medical school and residency.
The Society of Surgical Oncology, which oversees the fellowship program for breast surgeons, accepts a few dozen surgeons each year.
The yearlong training covers breast imaging, surgery, genetics, medical oncology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, radiation oncology and psychological oncology.
The goal of the training is to use the expertise to provide excellent care and contributions to the treatment team, as these areas all relate to the care of breast patients, says Kristine Keeney, MD.
This article appears in the summer 2016 issue of Cancer Care magazine.