The multidisciplinary approach used in the treatment of cancer in general and breast cancer in particular is the trend of modern medicine to obtain more effective solutions in terms of accurate diagnosis and treatment through the several specialties of physicians who work closely together to reach a treatment protocol catered to the medical condition.
Doctors from different specialties related to the breast cancer treatment try to reach a common decision in treating the patient for optimal results. This is what breast cancer centers and departments provide, as they combine the vast experiences of doctors in terms of specialized skills, state-of-the-art equipment and modern technologies, in addition to the latest treatment methods. Modern centers specialized in treating breast cancer according to the foundations and principles of a multidisciplinary approach, offer a comprehensive concept and new standards in patient care within a variety of services starting with early examination and diagnostic imaging in accordance with the latest equipment, in addition to obtaining a consultation from specialist doctors and setting the appropriate treatment protocol. These centers also provide plastic and reconstructive surgery given its psychological impact, which is reflected in the response to treatment and the speed of recovery.
The patient receives comprehensive care that includes the psychological and emotional aspect along with the appropriate treatment protocol catered to her condition. The goal is to ensure a high-quality service throughout the treatment period, so that comprehensive breast healthcare services are provided in one place using the latest medical equipment and available treatments. After seeing the primary care physician, the patient is referred to a team of specialized doctors and based on the initial evaluation and review of previous records, the patient can meet with a breast imaging specialist, genetic counselor, surgeon and oncologist. This is usually done on the same day, and they all work together to come up with a customized treatment plan as required by each patient’s medical condition. We have also established a team specialized in breast cancer, which holds regular meetings to discuss complicated cases and suggest the best available ways to treat those conditions.
The multidisciplinary approach is based on a medical team that includes:
- Surgeon specialized in breast surgery
- Radiation Oncologist
- Plastic Surgeon
- Breast care nurses
This approach means that this specialized team meets on a regular basis in order to discuss each case and decide on the latest evidence-based treatment for a particular type and stage of cancer, in order to benefit the patient and allows her to follow an integrated breast care program based on different medical perspectives. The oncologist works closely with the surgeon, radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, gynecologists, endocrinologists, plastic surgeons, physiotherapists, geneticists and psychologists to ensure rapid diagnosis of breast cancer patients, prompt implementation of surgical and medical treatments, and the highest quality of care during all stages of the disease.
Oncologists are pioneers in determining the appropriate treatment protocol, whether chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, or even a combination of two or more types of available treatments. The safest and most effective treatment is determined while helping the patient manage the side effects of chemotherapy so that she can lead a relatively normal life while receiving treatment doses.
Specialized Nursing Team
The nursing staff specialized in breast care are an integral part of the health system in these centers. The nursing staff is specially trained to care for patients, provide them with psychological comfort, support and encourage them, in addition to taking care of the patient before and after surgery and educating her about what to expect when returning home.
Within the multidisciplinary approach in caring for breast cancer patients, a psychiatrist is also essential as well as psychologists trained in helping the patient and her family members deal with anxiety and depression after receiving the news of the disease and during the frustrating phase of treatment. The psychological support during this period relieves the patient’s emotional distress and significantly improves her quality of life.