Multidisciplinary Care

Clinical care of the breast patient, whether cancer or benign disease, requires a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach, across multiple specialties: surgery, radiology, pathology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, clinical trials, social work, physical therapy among others.

Doctors working in teleconference

What is multidisciplinary care?

Multidisciplinary care is a collaborative approach to treatment planning and ongoing care. It is well documented and accepted that multidisciplinary care represents ‘best practice’ in terms of treatment planning and care for cancer patients.

Effective multidisciplinary care assures:

  • improved treatment
  • improved team communication and support
  • improved coordination of patient care
  • reduced service duplication
  • increased opportunities for recruitment into clinical trials
  • consideration of patient’s physical and emotional needs

Tumor Board

Physicians within our program, collaborate weekly, in our Breast Tumor Board.  At this meeting, all specialties are represented, and, cases are presented, x-rays and pathology slides  reviewed, and, discussion takes place, regarding the most appropriate treatments for each case.  This method essentially allows for multiple ‘opinions’ from each specialty.

Immediately following Tumor Board, patients, their families, and, the rendering physicians, meet independently, to discuss the recommendations from Tumor Board.  Patients have an opportunity, at this meeting, to have all of their providing physicians, in one room, available for discussion regarding any particular questions/concerns.  In addition, other cancer ‘services’ provided via our Cancer Center, are presented, offering a global overview of the care plan.

The care provided for breast cancer patients, include multiple specialists: pathology, radiology, medical oncology, and radiation oncology.  Other support services are equally important: social workers, genetic counselors, physical therapists, clinical trials, nutritional experts, members of our exercise and wellness program, and, survivorship personnel.