Navigating Lung Cancer Navigating Lung Cancer - Page 16

NAVIGATING LUNG CANCER Preparing for Your First Appointment Whether you’re going to see a primary care physician or cancer specialist, prepare for your visit. Consider bringing a friend or loved one. They may remember details of the visit that you forget or misunderstand. Some record their appointments with a cell phone or audio recorder. Take notes during your visit. Bring questions about any diagnosis or treatment information that may be confusing. Your pulmonologist is just one part of the team approach to lung cancer care. These specialists are also important: Family practitioners and internists are doctors who have completed a residency in family medicine or internal medicine. They often find your cancer first. They work together with specialists and subspecialists to coordinate your care. Pulmonologists (also called pulmonary specialists) are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating lung diseases. They treat breathing problems caused by cancer or its treatment. Pathologists are doctors who specialize in identifying diseases. They use a microscope to look at tissue samples taken during a biopsy. The pathologist will diagnose the type of cancer and how advanced it is. You may never meet your pathologist. He or she will consult with other doctors on your team. Thoracic surgeons (chest surgeons) are doctors who specialize in surgery on the lungs and other organs inside the chest. A thoracic surgeon treats cancers of the lung, esophagus, and chest wall. Some have special training in surgical oncology. 14