Your health care team
During chemotherapy you will be cared for by a range of health professionals who specialise in different aspects of your treatment. This is called a multidisciplinary team (MDT) and it may include some or all of the professionals listed below.
Note that only some patients see a cancer care coordinator. It is important to maintain or develop a relationship with a general practitioner (GP). This health professional will be involved in your ongoing care, particularly once the cancer treatment finishes.
|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 (these are known as systemic treatments)|
|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||administers drugs, including chemotherapy, and provides care, information and support throughout your treatment|
|palliative care specialist and nurses||work closely with the GP and oncologist to help control symptoms and maintain quality of life|
|pharmacist||dispenses medicines and gives advice about dosage and side effects|
|dietitian||recommends an eating plan to follow while you are in treatment and recovery|
|social worker||links you to support services and helps you with emotional, practical or 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|
Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, and Clinical Senior Lecturer, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, NSW; Gillian Blanchard, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Newcastle, NSW; Julie Bolton, Consumer; Keely Gordon-King, Psychologist, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; John Jameson, Consumer; Dr Zarnie Lwin, Medical Oncologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, QLD; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Dr Felicia Roncolato, Medical Oncology Staff Specialist, Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre, NSW. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
The information on this page is also available for download.
Coping with cancer?
Ask a health professional or someone who’s been there, or find a support group or forum
Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment