Your Breast Cancer Care Team
The breast cancer care team at The University of Kansas Cancer Center provides multidisciplinary cancer care that combines the expertise and experience of numerous specialists to ensure the best possible outcome.
Our team includes fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologists, breast reconstructive surgeons, breast medical oncologists, breast radiation oncologists, breast radiologists, breast pathologists and support care providers who have completed extensive specialty training that encompasses all aspects of breast cancer care for all types of breast cancer. That’s an important, lifesaving difference you won’t find just anywhere.
Comprehensive breast cancer care
We work closely with you to develop a comprehensive care plan to treat your cancer and tailor it to other health issues you may have, such as heart condition, diabetes or even pregnancy. This calls for integrative care, seamlessly pulling together a team of experts from various fields.
Our breast cancer specialists meet weekly to discuss your care and compare it to national guidelines. They discuss every person’s treatment as a team to stay updated on your care and progress.
We provide leading-edge care close to home at one of our many cancer center locations, and we actively research and develop new and effective treatments for breast cancer through clinical trials.
Breast cancer care team members
The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s breast cancer care specialists are dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive care for those with breast cancer.
Our specialists provide the most advanced technologies and techniques available. Your multidisciplinary cancer care team will include breast surgical oncologists, breast medical oncologists, breast radiation oncologists, breast reconstructive surgeons and breast cancer pathologists. Together, the team will coordinate your care to ensure you receive the combination of treatments best suited to you and your particular type of disease.
U.S. News & World Report ranks our cancer care on its Best Hospitals lists. The University of Kansas Cancer Center is 1 of 71 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers nationwide. Studies show that NCI-designated cancer centers achieve outcomes that are 25% better than those of other centers. In addition, according to a recent study, 43% of women who received a second opinion from an NCI-designated cancer center had a change in diagnosis.
Your breast cancer care team may include:
Interpreting a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI scan can be challenging because disease processes can look similar. It is important to quickly and correctly diagnose conditions because each requires a different evaluation and treatment. Effective treatment should begin promptly. Our dedicated breast radiologists focus solely on interpreting diagnostic imaging of breast tissue and are expertly trained to detect subtle abnormalities that others may miss. We offer the latest breast imaging technology for the most accurate diagnosis.
A pathologist is a physician who is trained in analyzing tissue samples from all parts of the body, often using a microscope to identify fine details. Becoming board-certified requires focused training in studying diseases and conditions found in the breast and interpreting tissue samples. Because many different breast conditions can appear to be quite similar under the microscope, a breast pathologist plays an important role in helping the care team arrive at the correct diagnosis. The University of Kansas Cancer Center has pathologists who specialize in breast pathology.
The breast medical oncologist is the principal coordinating physician for cancer care throughout your cancer journey, coordinating with the rest of the care team to work together effectively to identify all possible treatment options. Your physician will discuss the progress of your care plan, especially if there are changes, with the rest of the treatment team at regular tumor board meetings. How you feel and any symptoms or side effects you may have are always a primary concern. The goal of your breast medical oncologist is to achieve the best outcome and quality of life throughout your treatment and beyond.
A radiation oncologist has spent years studying the delivery of radiation treatment for tumors, including cancers. While there are a number of different types of radiation, the goal is to damage the tumor cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissue as much as possible. Delivery of radiation has improved greatly over the years to allow treatment delivery to very precise locations. Your radiation oncologist will discuss specific treatment details with you, as well as strategies to minimize side effects.
If your breast cancer screening tests indicate concern for a tumor, one of our experienced breast surgeons will join your care team. This is important for the accurate diagnosis and removal of as much underlying tumor as possible while leaving healthy tissue intact.
Our fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologists treat only breast cancer and breast disease. Because of this advanced training, patients in our care experience:
- Better outcomes
- Enhanced cosmetic results with advanced surgical techniques
- Improved survival rates
- Reduced complication rates
Each of our breast surgical oncologists works closely with other breast specialists to ensure you have an integrated care plan, which improves outcomes. Through our surgeons, you’ll also have access to breast surgical trials that offer innovative therapies and deliver the future standard of cancer care and treatment today.
Reconstructive plastic surgeons who specialize in the reconstruction of a breast after removal due to cancer or other disease may also be part of your team. New medical techniques and devices have made it possible for surgeons to create a breast that can come close in form and appearance to matching a natural breast. While we offer advanced reconstruction options, the final choice whether to opt for surgery is always yours to make.
At The University of Kansas Cancer Center, we understand that cancer affects every aspect of your life. With that in mind, our team is made up of a diverse group of specialists who walk with you through every step of your journey to support you, not just your cancer. We address the entire toll cancer takes on the mind, body and spirit because research shows this approach to cancer treatment provides better patient outcomes.
Our support services team includes social workers, psychologists, dietitians, a chaplain, a physiatrist (specialist in cancer rehabilitation), cancer exercise specialist, nurse navigators, financial counselors and a resource center coordinator along with other specialists to support the specific needs of cancer survivors. This team helps identify challenges patients and caregivers face and provides tools to manage them, whether they are physical, nutritional, spiritual, social or psychological.