If you are having chemotherapy as part of your cancer treatment, you will be cared for by a range of health professionals. This is called a multidisciplinary team (MDT) and it may include some or all of the professionals listed below.
It is important to maintain or develop a relationship with a regular general practitioner (GP), as they will be involved in your ongoing care, particularly once the cancer treatment finishes.
The different roles
- GP – refers you to specialists and provides ongoing care during and after your treatment
- Medical oncologist or haematologist – prescribes and coordinates the course of chemotherapy
- Radiation oncologist – prescribes and coordinates radiation therapy (which is sometimes given with chemotherapy)
- Cancer care coordinator or clinical nurse consultant (CNC) – coordinates your care, liaises with other members of the MDT, and supports you and your family throughout treatment (only some patients see a cancer care coordinator)
- Nurses – administer drugs, including chemotherapy, and provide care, information and support throughout your treatment
- Nurse practitioner – nurse who has had additional training and may be able to prescribe some medicines and refer you to other health professionals
- Palliative care specialist and palliative care nurses – work closely with the GP and the oncologist or haematologist 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
- Occupational therapist, physiotherapist – assist with physical and practical problems
- Social worker – links you to support services and helps with emotional, physical or practical issues
- Psychologist, counsellor – provide emotional support and help manage anxiety and depression