At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, we surround you with experts who focus completely on cancer care. A handful of people make up the core of your care team, based on the types of treatment you need. For many people, the core team includes a nurse navigator, breast surgeon, medical oncologist and radiation oncologist who all specialize in breast cancer. At some visits, you might see an advanced practice provider. Most patients get part of their treatment from infusion nurses. A patient care coordinator will schedule your visits.
Others join your team depending on your personal needs. For example, if you are interested in breast reconstruction, we have surgeons who specialize in this. If you have heart, brain or digestive problems, we call in a dermatologist, neuro-oncologist or gastroenterologist. We have specialists based at Fred Hutch who know the issues that matter for people with cancer.
Supportive care providers are also here to help. You may see Fred Hutch registered dietitians, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers and others. All of them specialize in caring for people during and after cancer.
Advanced practiced providers have training that is similar to physicians and can see you without your physician. At Fred Hutch, these health care professionals work closely with your medical oncologist in the clinic. There are two types: physician assistants (PAs) and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs). They help provide and plan your treatment and also help manage the effects of your disease and treatment.
This physician does surgery to remove as much of your cancer as possible, along with a margin of healthy tissue around the cancer. They might also remove lymph nodes to check for cancer spread.
Your surgeon will:
This physician does surgery to restore your breast after cancer surgery, if you want this. Depending on your exact needs, they may work closely with your cancer surgeon to operate on the same day your cancer is removed, or they may do your reconstruction later in a separate procedure.
Your reconstructive surgeon will:
Cancer nurses who are experts in infusions give these treatments. They will also check on you during each infusion. They will help any medical issues that come up and keep you comfortable.
This physician manages your medicine-based treatments. Most people with breast cancer get chemotherapy. Some people get endocrine therapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy.
Your medical oncologist will:
The Fred Hutch Breast Cancer Specialty Clinic has nurse navigators to help you deal with the health care system. They will help with transitions in your treatment, like going from recovery after surgery to the start of chemotherapy. They will listen to your needs and direct you to the right services, departments and resources.
Your patient care coordinator works closely with you and your physician. They will schedule your appointments.
This physician treats cancer with radiation. They prescribe and manage this part of your care. Working with a radiation oncology team, they plan and deliver your treatments.
Your radiation oncologist will:
This specialist positions you each time you come in for radiation treatment. This makes sure that your treatment goes to the right places on your body. They also operate the machines that deliver the radiation.
This physician reads and gives the results of your imaging tests. They also do some types of biopsies.
Your radiologist will:
Your nurses manage your care with your physicians. They also help with procedures and treatments. Nurses are resources for you and your caregiver. They can answer questions on a wide range of topics, like how to cope with side effects or get other services you need at Fred Hutch.
Many types of supportive care team members are here to help you and your family. They include dietitians, physical therapists, pain medicine specialists, psychologists, social workers, spiritual health staff, palliative care specialists, naturopaths and acupuncturists.
Learn more about Supportive Care Services