Sara Bruce, M.D., is a breast surgeon at Inova Schar Cancer Institute.
A quarterback can’t make a touchdown without his teammates. In order to score on the field, you need a quarterback to throw the ball, a receiver to catch it and a defensive team to make sure the receiver reaches the end zone.
Cancer is no different. You can’t tackle the disease effectively without a number of medical specialists working together. From the surgeon to the radiation oncologist to the genetics counselor and supportive care professionals, the only way to effectively keep cancer at bay is to work together as a team.
Comprehensive Care Explained
The Breast Cancer Program at Inova Schar Cancer Institute brings together experts from all areas of cancer care, including surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, imaging, plastic surgery, genetics and emotional support services. All of these specialties work together to provide patients with the highest quality care — and the best chance of a positive outcome.
Breaking It Down
A patient’s first stop after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is often a breast surgeon. Working together, the breast cancer team will develop a treatment strategy tailored to the patient’s type of cancer and stage of disease. For some patients, surgery is the best first step. For others, doctors may recommend chemotherapy prior to surgery.
After doctors establish a treatment plan, a patient meets her nurse navigator, who will provide guidance through every step of treatment. Nurse navigators not only schedule imaging studies and visits with breast doctors, they provide our patients with information about many important supportive care services.
Each week, the entire Breast Cancer Program team meets to discuss our patients’ treatment plans. We review cases and determine the best defense against every patient’s disease. To stick with the football metaphor, it’s akin to coaches masterminding an effective defensive line on the field.
So instead of one doctor overseeing your treatment plan, you get a team of breast cancer specialists all working for you!
The Team Advantage
Inova also offers extensive supportive resources through Life with Cancer, a program that aims to enhance the quality of life for those with cancer.
Life with Cancer provides services including support groups, individual counseling, nutrition counseling, yoga, acupuncture and family care services, including education and guidance about how to talk to your children about a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
At Inova, you aren’t getting just one provider. You’re getting a team of breast cancer specialists that work together seamlessly to provide you the highest quality care.
Discover how Inova Schar Cancer Institute tackles breast cancer. Inova is the official Breast Cancer Awareness partner of the Washington Redskins.