- Cancer Information
- Cancer treatment
- Common questions about chemotherapy
- Your health care team
Your health care team
During and after treatment, you will see a range of health professionals who specialise in different aspects of your care.
Learn more about:
The main specialist doctor you will see when having chemotherapy is a medical oncologist (for tumours) or a haematologist (for blood cancers). You may be referred to a medical oncologist or a haematologist by your general practitioner (GP) or by another specialist such as a surgeon.
Treatment options will often be discussed with other health professionals at what is known as a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting. Ask your doctor if your case has been discussed at an MDT meeting.
It is a good idea to build a relationship with a GP because they will be involved in your ongoing care, particularly after your cancer treatment ends.
To find cancer specialists, multidisciplinary teams and hospitals in NSW or ACT, you can visit the NSW Government website CanRefer.
|GP||assists you with treatment decisions and works in partnership with your specialists in providing ongoing care|
|medical oncologist* or haematologist*||treats cancer with drug therapies such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy (systemic treatment)|
|radiation oncologist*||treats cancer by prescribing and overseeing a course of radiation therapy|
|surgeon*||surgically removes tumours and performs some biopsies; specialist cancer surgeons are called surgical oncologists|
|cancer care coordinator||coordinates your care, liaises with other members of the MDT, and supports you and your family throughout treatment; may also be a clinical nurse consultant (CNC) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS)|
|nurse or nurse practitioner||administers drugs, including chemotherapy, and provides care, information and support throughout your treatment; a nurse practitioner works in an advanced nursing role and may prescribe some medicines and tests|
|pharmacist||dispenses medicines and gives advice about dosage and side effects|
|palliative care specialist* and nurses||work closely with the GP and cancer team to help control symptoms and maintain quality of life|
|dietitian||helps with nutrition concerns and recommends changes to diet during treatment and recovery|
|social worker||links you to support services and helps you with emotional, practical and financial issues|
|occupational therapist, physiotherapist||assist with physical and practical problems, including restoring movement and mobility after treatment, and recommending aids and equipment|
|psychologist, counsellor||help you manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment|
You may be able to have some appointments with your health professionals from home over the phone or a video link. This is known as telehealth and it can reduce the number of times you need to attend hospital.
Although telehealth can’t replace all face-to-face appointments, you can use it to talk about a range of issues including test results, prescriptions and side effects.
For more information talk to your treatment team, listen to our Telehealth for Cancer podcast episode or call 13 11 20.
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
Prof Timothy Price, Medical Oncologist, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, SA; Graham Borgas, Consumer: Dr Joanna Dewar, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Professor, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and The University of Western Australia, WA; Justin Hargreaves, Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Bendigo Health Cancer Centre, VIC; Angela Kritikos, Senior Oncology Dietitian, Dietetic Department, Liverpool Hospital, NSW; Dr Kate Mahon, Director of Medical Oncology, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Georgie Pearson, Consumer; Chris Rivett, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Marissa Ryan, Acting Consultant Pharmacist (Cancer Services), Pharmacy Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
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