Audrey Benoist (left) and her colleague have specialised in taking care of breast cancer patients.  Photo: 

Audrey Benoist (left) and her colleague have specialised in taking care of breast cancer patients.  Photo: 

In honour of Pink October, Delano looks at a medical profession longstanding but still unknown to the general public: breast cancer nurse.

When there’s a suspicion of breast cancer, you undergo a biopsy. If the diagnosis is confirmed, you’re sent to either an oncologist or a surgeon, depending on what takes priority in your specific case. To make the complicated journey easier on patients, breast care nurses pull all the loose strings together and coordinate the path to recovery.

Audrey Benoist has been a breast care nurse for two years. In the years prior to her training in Germany, the graduate nurse had already worked mainly in oncology, looking after cancer patients. “A breast care nurse is a coordinator, which means she accompanies patients on the entire course of breast cancer treatment,” Benoist explains.

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“Once a patient has seen a specialist, they are sent to our breast care clinic. We are the people that give them explanations on the course of the treatment, whether it’s surgery or chemotherapy. We also accompany them during their first chemo session.”

The two breast care nurses at the CHL see a wide array of patients touched by cancer--be they men or women, older or younger--meaning that they also have to adapt to the needs and worries of their patients. “If we notice that a patient needs help in a certain area, we get in touch with the according specialist.”

But “we’re an entire team of various specialists, like oncologists, psychologists, surgeons, lab doctors, gynecologists etc. at the Breast Cancer Clinic--we’re really a big team.” Essentially, breast care nurses, as specialists in this ailment serve as a red thread for those who attend the clinic.