Your treatment team
From the time that you are first diagnosed with cancer you will be cared for by one or more of a team of health professionals including:
- your family doctor
- cancer nurse specialists, who specialise in the care of people with cancer
- a surgeon, who specialises in your type of cancer
- a pathologist, a doctor who diagnoses disease by studying cells and tissues under a microscope
- a radiation oncologist, a doctor who specialises in the use of radiation in the treatment of cancer
- a medical oncologist, a doctor who specialises in the use of drug treatments for cancer
- radiation therapists, who prepare you and give you your radiation treatment
- nurses, who give chemotherapy and monoclonal antibody treatments, and support you through your treatment
- social workers, counsellors, physiotherapists, dietitians and occupational therapists, who will advise you on the support services available, and help you get back to normal activities.
Ideally, your hospital should have all available means of diagnosis and treatment, although this will not be the case in some areas.
"I'm the type of person to ask questions, they [the team] were really kind — not patronising 'kind'. They were very patient explaining to me." Selei