Treatment for breast cancer patients involves many different doctors and health care professionals. Our goal is to provide each patient with seamless, integrated care beginning as soon as they receive a diagnosis. Evidence indicates that a team approach to cancer care, in which health care professionals collaborate to develop an individual treatment plan for each patient, can improve outcomes and quality of life for the patient. This integrated method is known as multidisciplinary care (MDC) and begins at the time of your diagnosis, before any surgery has taken place.
Importance of Breast Cancer MDC
A team approach to cancer care ensures that all relevant specialists contribute to discussions about your breast cancer treatment. In addition, you will learn about all of your treatment options prior to surgery, allowing you to make the most informed decisions about your care.
The MDC service also provides you with several other benefits. It saves time by eliminating multiple, uncoordinated visits to various specialists, allows your appointments to be scheduled more rapidly, and provides greater access to support services.
Breast Cancer MDC Team
An MDC team brings together your medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, clinical research nurses, and a nurse navigator. This approach takes advantage of the knowledge and skills of each health care professional so you receive the best care possible.
Because communication between these team members is vital, individual cases are reviewed by the Breast Cancer MDC team twice a month. At these meetings, team members also review new breast cancer cases, sharing insights from their own patience care and research. This collaborative approach facilitates the development of the most appropriate and well-rounded treatment plan for each patient.
Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator
The nurse navigator is an experienced oncology nurse who serves as your personal guide during your cancer journey. Because this is such a stressful time, this extra support is necessary to allow you to focus your energy on your care and treatment.
The breast cancer nurse navigator facilitates communication between you, your family, and the entire health care team to help you make decisions and access the services you need to fight your cancer. She will work to remove any barriers that stand between you and effective, comprehensive cancer care as well as help you adhere to your treatment plan and any lifestyle changes it requires.
The one-on-one care provided by the nurse navigator includes:
- Step-by-step guidance through your treatment, helping you and your family understand all of your treatment options.
- Coordination of your initial consultations within a week of diagnosis.
- Attendance at your initial consultations.
- Coordination of referrals to other support services.
- Follow-up and continuity of care.
- Education and support regarding survivorship.
There is no charge for breast cancer MDC coordination, and the service is available to all St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center breast cancer patients. For more information on the program, please contact our breast cancer nurse navigator at 308.398.3218.
Surgical Care for Breast Cancer Patients
Surgery is often a part of the breast cancer journey. Providing you with the best surgical techniques for breast cancer is just one more way the St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center ensures you are receiving the most advanced cancer care close to home.
We are happy to be able to offer oncoplastic surgical procedures for our breast cancer patients. Oncoplastic surgery combines the removal of cancerous tissue with immediate remodeling or reconstruction or the breast to improve the cosmetic result.