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.
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|
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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