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.