Your health care team
Your general practitioner (GP) will organise the first tests to assess your symptoms. If these tests do not rule out cancer, you will usually be referred to a respiratory physician, who will arrange further tests.
If lung cancer is diagnosed, the specialist will consider treatment options. Often these will be discussed with other health professionals at what is known as a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting.
During and after treatment, you will see a range of health professionals who specialise in different aspects of your care. The health professionals you see will depend on whether the lung cancer has spread.
|GP||assists you with treatment decisions and works in partnership with your specialists in providing ongoing care|
|respiratory (thoracic) physician||diagnoses diseases of the lungs, including cancer, and recommends initial treatment options|
|thoracic (chest) surgeon||diagnoses and performs surgery for cancer and other diseases of the lungs and chest (thorax)|
|radiation oncologist||treats cancer by prescribing and overseeing a course of radiation therapy|
|radiation therapist||plans and delivers radiation therapy|
|medical oncologist||treats cancer with drug therapies such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy (systemic treatment)|
|cancer care coordinator or lung cancer nurse coordinator||coordinates care, liaises with 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)|
|nurse||administers chemotherapy and other drugs and provides care, information and support throughout treatment|
|dietitian||recommends an eating plan to follow while you are in treatment and recovery|
|speech pathologist||helps with communication and swallowing after treatment|
|social worker||links you to support services and helps with emotional, practical or financial problems|
|physiotherapist, occupational therapist||assist with physical and practical issues, including restoring movement and mobility after treatment and recommending aids and equipment|
|counsellor, psychologist||help you manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment|
|palliative care specialist and nurses||work closely with the GP and cancer specialists to help control symptoms and maintain your quality of life|
Dr Henry Marshall, Thoracic Physician, The University of Queensland Thoracic Research Centre, The Prince Charles Hospital, QLD; Dr Naveed Alam, Thoracic Surgeon, St Vincent’s Melbourne and Epworth Richmond Hospitals, VIC; A/Prof Martin Borg, Radiation Oncologist, GenesisCare, SA; Dr Lisa Briggs, Consumer; Kirsten Mooney, Thoracic Cancer Nurse Coordinator, WA Cancer & Palliative Care Network, WA; Claire Mulvihill, Lung Cancer Support Nurse, Lung Foundation Australia; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; A/Prof Nick Pavlakis, President, Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group, President Elect, Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, and Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Medical Oncology, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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