Your health care team

Your GP will probably arrange the first tests to assess your symptoms. If these tests do not rule out cancer, you will usually be referred to a gynaecological oncologist, who specialises in treating women with ovarian cancer.

The gynaecological oncologist may arrange further tests, advise you about treatment options and perform any recommended surgery. You will be cared for by a range of health professionals who specialise in different aspects of your treatment. This is often referred to as a multidisciplinary team (MDT).

Your health care team

Your health care team may include these people:

  • Gynaecological oncologist* – diagnoses and performs surgery for cancers of the female reproductive system, e.g. ovarian, cervical, uterine, vulvar and vaginal cancers
  • Gynaecological pathologist* – examines tissue removed from the abdomen or ovaries under a microscope
  • Medical oncologist* – treats cancer with drug therapies including chemotherapy and targeted therapy
  • Radiation oncologist* – treats cancer by prescribing and coordinating a course of radiation therapy
  • Radiation therapist – plans and delivers radiation therapy
  • Radiologist* – reads and interprets diagnostic scans (e.g. x-rays, CT and PET scans)
  • Nurse – administers drugs and provides care, information and support throughout treatment
  • Cancer nurse or cancer care coordinator – coordinates your care, liaises with other members of the MDT and supports you and your family throughout treatment
  • Dietitian – recommends an eating plan to follow while you are in treatment and recovery
  • Physiotherapist and occupational therapist – assist with physical and practical problems, including restoring mobility after treatment, and recommending aids and equipment
  • Social worker – links you to support services and helps you with emotional, practical or financial issues
  • Counsellor, clinical psychologist – help you manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment
  • Palliative care specialists* and nurses – work closely with the GP and oncologist to help control symptoms and maintain quality of life
  • Familial cancer specialist* and genetic counsellor – provide advice about genetic conditions; perform and interpret genetic test results for you and your family

*Specialist doctor

This information was last reviewed in April 2018
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