Your health care team
Your general practitioner (GP) or another doctor will arrange the first tests to assess your symptoms. If these tests do not rule out a tumour, you will usually be referred to a specialist, such as a neurosurgeon or neurologist. The specialist will examine you and arrange further tests.
If a tumour is diagnosed, the specialist will consider your treatment options. Often these will be discussed with other health professionals at what is known as a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting. During and after treatment, you will see a range of health professionals who specialise in different aspects of your care.
Health professionals you may see
|neurosurgeon||diagnoses and surgically treats diseases and injuries of the brain and nervous system|
|neurologist||diagnoses and treats diseases of the brain and nervous system, particularly those that do not need surgery|
|radiation oncologist||treats cancer by prescribing and overseeing a course of radiation therapy|
|medical oncologist||treats cancer with drug therapies such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy (systemic treatment)|
|cancer care coordinator||coordinates your care, liaises with other members of the MDT and supports you and your family throughout treatment; care may also be coordinated by a clinical nurse consultant (CNC) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS)|
|nurse||administers drugs and provides care, information and support throughout treatment|
|neuropathologist||analyses blood and tissue from brain or spinal cord|
|rehabilitation specialist||recommends and oversees treatment to help you recover movement, mobility and speech after treatment and return to daily life|
|social worker||links you to support services and helps you with emotional, practical and financial issues|
|neuropsychologist||assesses people with problems in thinking or behaviour caused by illness or injury (particularly to the brain) and manages their rehabilitation|
|psychologist, psychiatrist||help you manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment|
|physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist||assist with physical and practical problems, including restoring movement, mobility and speech after treatment, and recommending aids and equipment|
|exercise physiologist||prescribes exercise to help people with medical conditions improve their overall health, fitness, strength and energy levels|
|exercise physiologist||work closely with the GP and cancer team to help control symptoms and maintain quality of life|
A/Prof Andrew Davidson, Neurosurgeon, Macquarie University Hospital, NSW; Dr Lucy Gately, Medical Oncologist, Oncology Clinics Victoria, and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, VIC; Melissa Harrison, Allied Health Manager and Senior Neurological Physiotherapist, Advance Rehab Centre, NSW; Scott Jones, Consumer; Anne King, Neurology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Health Department, WA; Dr Toni Lindsay, Senior Clinical Psychologist and Allied Health Manager, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Elissa McVey, Consumer; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Dr Claire Phillips, Deputy Director, Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC.
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