Consult a team of experts focused on your care
When medical experts from different specialties are able to share knowledge, together they can cover the different aspects of your care.
Your care team may include:1,2
- Medical oncologist
- Sarcoma specialist
- Surgeon/surgical oncologist
- Radiologist and/or radiation oncologist
- Primary care physician
- Mental health professional
Find a list of sarcoma centers on the website for Sarcoma Alliance for Research through collaboration (SARC), a non-profit organization.4,*
A Medical Oncologist specializes in diagnosis and treatment of tumors. They will come up with a treatment plan tailored for you. This may include medications to treat your tumor, a discussion around whether surgery is an option you should consider, and/or bringing in other specialists to help assist with your care.3
Make sure you have a good team around you. My oncologist plays a big part in how I view everything.
Amy, patient with a desmoid tumor
The Surgeon specializes in removing tumors. In most tumor locations, surgery is not recommended as the first line of treatment by desmoid tumor experts.5 It is recommended that you meet with both a medical oncologist and a surgeon and other members of your multidisciplinary care team. Together, your care team can help determine an individualized treatment plan for you.
The Radiologist specializes in interpreting medical imaging, like MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computerized tomography) scans, X-rays, and ultrasounds.1,2 A Radiation Oncologist specializes in treating tumors with radiation therapy.1
The Pathologist examines body tissues, typically from a biopsy, under a microscope and performs lab tests to help determine your diagnosis.1,2
Primary care physician (PCP)
The PCP whom you see for routine physical exams should be kept in the loop and informed about your health. Your PCP may be one of the first doctors you speak to about a potential desmoid tumor.1,6 If your PCP is unsure about whether you have a desmoid tumor, you can ask them to help identify other care team members to support a clear and timely diagnosis.
Nurses may conduct physical exams, provide chemotherapy or other medications, identify needs, coordinate care with other members of the team, and educate people living with desmoid tumors and families about the disease.1,2
Mental health professional
Some people may also find it helpful to have a Mental Health Professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or licensed counselor) to speak with. Counseling can help you understand your feelings and reactions. And if you’re feeling worried or down, a safe place to talk is always a good thing.7,8
Short- or long-term pain management can also be a concern for people living with a desmoid tumor. Whether it’s related to treatment or to the tumor itself, speak with your care team about any pain you are experiencing. They can help you create a pain management plan or refer you to a doctor who specializes in coping with pain.1,9
I would advise people to get a second or third opinion. This is your life. Go find the best care.
Brad, patient with a desmoid tumor
Knowing what to ask your doctor can help you get appropriate care
To help you prepare for the discussion with your doctor, download these questions in the discussion guide below. You may want to bring it with you to help guide your conversation.
Here are a few ideas for questions you may want to ask your doctor
To help you prepare for the discussion with your doctor, download these questions in the discussion guide below and bring it with you to help guide your conversation.
SpringWorks Therapeutics is providing this link to help patients find a sarcoma specialist by region, but SpringWorks had no role in developing this list and inclusion on this list does not represent an endorsement or a recommendation from SpringWorks for any center or physician.
- Referenced with permission from the NCCN Guidelines for Patients® for Soft Tissue Sarcoma, V.1.2020. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved. Accessed February 12, 2023. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to NCCN.org. NCCN makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever regarding their content, use, or application, and disclaims any responsibility for their application or use in any way.
- Cancer.Net. The oncology team. Accessed February 12, 2023. https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/cancer-basics/cancer-care-team/oncology-team.
- Cancer.Net. Types of oncologists. Accessed February 12, 2023. https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/cancer-basics/cancer-care-team/types-oncologists.
- SARC (Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration). About SARC. Accessed February 12, 2023. https://sarctrials.org/about-sarc.
- Gronchi A et al. Desmoid Tumor Working Group. The management of desmoid tumours: a joint global consensus-based guideline approach for adult and paediatric patients. Eur J Cancer. 2020;127:96-107.
- Nekhlyudov L, Latosinsky S. The interface of primary and oncology specialty care: from symptoms to diagnosis. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2010;2010(40):11-17.
- Cancer.Net. Counseling. Accessed February 12, 2023. https://www.cancer.net/coping-with-cancer/finding-social-support-and-information/counseling.
- Granek L, Nakash O, Ariad S, et al. Strategies and barriers in addressing mental health and suicidality in patients with cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2019;46(5):561-571.
- Cancer.Net. Treating pain with medication. Accessed February 12, 2023. https://www.cancer.net/coping-with-cancer/physical-emotional-and-social-effects-cancer/managing-physical-side-effects/pain/treating-pain-with-medication.