Your health care team

If you have bladder cancer, you will need to see a number of different health professionals.

Your GP will usually arrange the first tests to assess your symptoms. If these tests don’t rule out cancer, you’ll be referred to a urologist or to a local hospital that specialises in urology. The urologist will examine you and may do more tests. A range of health professionals will work as a multidisciplinary team (MDT) to treat you.

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The different roles

The following health professionals may be in your MDT. Note that only some patients see a cancer care coordinator.

If the bladder cancer is non-muscle-invasive, you are unlikely to need systemic chemotherapy or radiation therapy, so you probably won’t have to see a medical oncologist or radiation oncologist.

  • GP – works in partnership with your specialists in providing ongoing care
  • Urologist* – specialises in diseases of the male and female urinary systems and the male reproductive system; performs surgery
  • Medical oncologist* – prescribes and coordinates the course of chemotherapy
  • Radiation oncologist* – prescribes and coordinates the course of radiation therapy
  • Cancer care coordinator or clinical nurse consultant (CNC) – support patients and families throughout treatment and liaise with other members of the treatment team
  • Nurses – care for you during and after surgery; administer drugs, including chemotherapy; and provide care, information and support throughout treatment
  • Stomal therapy nurse – provides advice and support to patients with a stoma
  • Continence nurse – assesses and educates patients about bladder and bowel control
  • Dietitian – recommends an eating plan to follow during treatment and recovery
  • Social worker – links you to support services and helps you with emotional or practical issues
  • Clinical psychiatrist*, psychologist, counsellor – provide emotional support and help manage any feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Physiotherapist, occupational therapist – help with physical and practical problems, including restoring a range of movement after surgery

*Specialist doctor

This information was last reviewed in February 2018
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