Your health care team
Your general practitioner (GP) will arrange the first tests to assess your symptoms. If these tests do not rule out cancer, you will usually be referred to a specialist, such as a haematologist. Occasionally in regional areas, people may see a medical oncologist instead.
The haematologist will arrange further tests. If myeloma is diagnosed, the haematologist 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.
|GP||assists you with treatment decisions and works in partnership with your specialists in providing ongoing care|
|haematologist||diagnoses and treats diseases of the bone marrow, blood and lymphatic system|
|radiation oncologist||treats cancer by prescribing and coordinating a course of radiation therapy|
|pathologist||examines cells and tissue samples to determine the type and extent of the myeloma|
|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)|
|pain management team||consists of pain specialists and nurses who work together to treat pain, particularly if it is difficult to control|
|dietitian||recommends an eating plan to follow while you are in treatment and recovery|
|social worker||links you to support services and helps you with emotional, practical or financial issues|
|physiotherapist||helps with restoring movement and mobility, and preventing further injury|
|occupational therapist||assists in adapting your living and working environment to help you resume usual activities after treatment|
|counsellor, psychologist||help you manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment|
Dr Jane Estell, Senior Staff Specialist, Haematology Department, Concord Cancer Centre, and Senior Clinical Lecturer, The University of Sydney; Brenda Clasquin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Jacqui Keogh, Senior Myeloma Support Nurse, Myeloma Australia; Dr Silvia Ling, Haematologist, Liverpool Hospital and Sydney Adventist Hospital; and John Miller, Consumer.
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