Your health care team
During and after treatment, you will see a range of health professionals who specialise in different aspects of your care. The main specialist doctor for radiation therapy is a radiation oncologist. You may be referred to a radiation oncologist by your general practitioner (GP) or by another specialist such as a surgeon or medical oncologist. Treatment options will often be discussed with other health professionals at what is known as a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting.
To find cancer specialists, multidisciplinary teams and hospitals in NSW or ACT, you can visit the NSW Government website CanRefer.
These are some of the different health professionals you may see:
|radiation oncologist||treats cancer by prescribing and overseeing a course of radiation therapy|
|radiation therapist||plans and delivers radiation therapy|
|radiation oncology nurse||provides care, information and support for managing side effects and other issues throughout radiation therapy|
|medical physicist||ensures treatment machines are working accurately and safely; oversees safe delivery of radionuclide therapy; monitors radiation levels|
|medical oncologist||treats cancer with drug therapies such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy (systemic treatment)|
|dietitian||recommends an eating plan to follow while you are in treatment and recovery|
|speech pathologist||helps with communication and swallowing difficulties during treatment and recovery|
|social worker||links you to support services and helps you with emotional, practical and financial issues|
|psychologist/ counsellor||help you manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment|
|physiotherapist, occupational therapist||assist with physical and practical problems, including restoring movement and mobility after treatment, and recommending equipment|
|lymphoedema practitioner||educates people about lymphoedema prevention and management, and provides treatment if lymphoedema occurs|
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Dr Madhavi Chilkuri, Radiation Oncologist, Townsville Cancer Centre, The Townsville Hospital, and Dean, RANZCR Faculty of Radiation Oncology, QLD; Polly Baldwin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Patricia Hanley, Consumer; Prof Michael Hofman, Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Physician, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Leanne Hoy, Cancer Nurse Consultant, GenesisCare, VIC; Sharon King, Accredited Practising Dietitian, TAS; Dr Yoo Young (Dominique) Lee, Radiation Oncology Consultant, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Dr Wendy Phillips, Senior Medical Physicist, Department of Radiation Oncology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA; Katrina Rech, Radiation Therapist and Quality Systems Manager, GenesisCare, SA. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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