Selasa, 23 Agustus 2011

Cancer Discussion Guide

Finding the right treatment for your type of cancer depends on many things. These might be your type of cancer, your age, or if you have another medical illness. It involves input from many doctors who provide care based on your personal need. A full treatment team may include an oncologist, pathologist, surgeon and nurse.
Here you can learn about the role each member of the treatment team may play in your care:
An oncologist is a doctor who cares for and treats people who have cancer. He or she may focus on a certain type of cancer treatment.1 For example, a medical or surgical oncologist will manage your treatment plan.2 A radiation oncologist uses radiation to diagnose and treat cancer.2An oncologist also can specialize in a specific type of cancer, such as breast or pancreatic cancer. 
You usually see an oncologist after being told you have cancer. This doctor might manage how you are treated. He or she also may refer you to other specialists. This might include a pathologist or a surgeon. Oncologists can answer your questions about biomarker testing and targeted treatment.
Once an oncologist tests for cancer, he or she works with a pathologist to find out the results. A pathologist is a doctor who finds diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope.3 This doctor also might perform tests to learn a tumor's specific makeup, including whether there are any biomarkers. He or she may test for biomarkers using a tissue sample known as a biopsy. This is a portion of a tumor that is removed by a surgeon or oncologist. Whether this doctor spots a biomarker or not, he or she will talk to your oncologist.
A surgeon is a doctor who operates on a patient. A surgeon who operates on cancers and tumors is called a surgical oncologist. The surgeon removes the cancer and the appropriate amount of normal tissue in the surrounding organ(s). Some surgeons may focus on one area of the body, such as the breast, lungs or brain. The medical oncologist may talk to the surgeon or surgical oncologist to find out if surgery is needed. They also will find out how much of the tumor should be removed. Together, they will decide if you should be given any cancer drugs before or after surgery.
A radiologist is a doctor who specializes in creating and interpreting pictures of areas inside the body.5 An interventional radiologist is a doctor who may administer a cancer treatment directly to the tumor using wires and small tubes called catheters.6 They can also perform a needle biopsy to obtain a sample of your tumor tissue.6
An oncology nurse is a registered nurse who is trained to help and provide care to people with cancer.7 You might see an oncology nurse more than anyone else on your treatment team. The oncology nurse monitors the health of a patient during treatment, whether at home or at a special clinic. These nurses help carry out the treatment plan chosen by the oncologist or treatment team. They may give you cancer medicines and observe your daily progress. An oncology nurse can update the oncologist on how well you are doing on treatment.

You may also visit with other professionals in your treatment team, like social workers, physician assistants, rehabilitation therapists or dietitians.
  1. National Cancer Institute. Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Oncologist. Available at Accessed April 1, 2011.
  2. National Cancer Institute. How To Find a Doctor or Treatment Facility If You Have Cancer. Available at Accessed January 24, 2011.
  3. National Cancer Institute. Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Pathologist. Available at Accessed April 1, 2011.
  4. National Cancer Institute. Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Surgeon. Accessed April 1, 2011.
  5. National Cancer Institute. Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Radiologist. Accessed May 12, 2011.
  6. University of Maryland Medical Center. Radiology. Available at: Accessed May 2, 2011.
  7. National Cancer Institute. Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Oncology Nurse. Accessed April 1, 2011.

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