Your health care team
Before, during and after surgery you will be cared for by a range of health professionals who specialise in different aspects of your care. Your treatment options may be discussed with other health professionals at what is known as a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting. This means health professionals work together to plan treatment and manage care.
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. For example, GPs can help with pain control, prescriptions for medicines, or follow-up blood tests.
See our information about specific cancer types to learn more about the health professionals you may see.
|GP||assists you with treatment decisions and works with your specialists in providing follow-up care after surgery|
|surgeon||surgically removes tumours and performs some biopsies; specialist cancer surgeons are called surgical oncologists|
|anaesthetist||assesses your fitness for surgery; administers anaesthesia before the operation and monitors you during the surgery; commonly looks after your pain in the first days after surgery|
|operating room staff||include anaesthetists, technicians and nurses who prepare you for surgery and care for you during the operation and recovery|
|junior medical staff||doctors-in-training, including registrars, fellows and resident medical officers, who look after surgical patients under the supervision of a surgeon or anaesthetist|
|cancer care coordinator||coordinates your care, liaises with other members of the MDT and supports you and your family throughout treatment; care may also be coordinated by a clinical nurse consultant (CNC) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS)|
|pathologist||examines cells and tissue samples to determine the type and extent of the cancer|
|dietitian||recommends an eating plan to follow while you’re in treatment and recovery|
|psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellor||help you manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment|
|physiotherapist||helps with restoring movement and mobility, and preventing further complications|
|occupational therapist||assists in adapting your living and working environment to help you resume usual activities after treatment|
|social worker||links you to support services and helps you with emotional, practical and financial issues|
|exercise physiologist||prescribes exercise to help you improve your overall health, fitness, strength and energy levels|
Prof Andrew Spillane, Surgical Oncologist, Melanoma Institute of Australia, and Professor of Surgical Oncology, The University of Sydney Northern Clinical School, NSW; Lynne Hendrick, Consumer; Judy Holland, Physiotherapist, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Kara Hutchinson, Cancer Nurse Coordinator, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, VIC; A/Prof Declan Murphy, Urologist and Director of Genitourinary Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Prof Stephan Schug, Director of Pain Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, and Chair of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The University of Western Australia Medical School, WA; Dr Emma Secomb, Specialist Surgeon, Hinterland Surgical Centre, QLD. We would like to thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.