At Geisinger, patient care is a team effort. Each of our multi-disciplinary teams combines the skills and expertise of several healthcare professionals, many of whom specialize in diagnosing and treating one type of cancer. This means physicians that physicians and other healthcare professionals on your treatment team are highly experienced in caring for patients with the type of cancer you have. Working together, your multi-disciplinary team will develop a plan for treatment that will lead to the best possible outcome for you.
Your multi-disciplinary team may include the following:
- Medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer patients with chemotherapy, biologic therapies, or other cancer-fighting drugs. Medical oncologists usually specialize in treating one or more types of cancer that occur in a specific organ or tissue (such as the liver, lungs, bone, blood, or skin), organ system (such as the central nervous system, hormonal system, or reproductive system), or region of the body (such as breast or head and neck). The medical oncologist often coordinates the activities of a patient's treatment team.
- Surgical oncologist: a doctor who uses surgery to remove tumors. Most surgical oncologists specialize in treating one or more types of cancer that occur in a specific organ (such as the liver, lungs, bone, or skin), organ system (such as the nervous or hormonal system), or region of the body (such as breast or head and neck).
- Radiation oncologist: a doctor who prescribes radiation therapy (beams of high-energy radiation, or radioactive seed implants) to shrink or eliminate tumors. Some radiation oncologists specialize in treating one or more types of cancer that occur in a specific organ (such as the prostate, lungs, or bone) or region of the body.
- Radiologist: a doctor who uses medical imaging technology, such as x-rays, CT, MRI, or ultrasound, to examine internal organs and other structures. Radiologists interpret information from imaging tests to help make an accurate diagnosis for many types of cancer.
- Pathologist: identifies and classifies different types of cancer by studying the appearance of cells and tissue. Many types of cancer can be identified by the appearance of their cells under a microscope.
- Hematologic Oncologist: a doctor who specializes in treating blood disorders. Hematologic oncologists focus on treating cancers that arise in blood cells, such as leukemia.
- Patient Navigator: a registered nurse or licensed social worker who provides patients and their families with support during their treatment. For example, they will help with discharge planning and the coordination of home care, if needed. In addition, they provide patients and families with counseling, or information on support groups, to help in adjusting to life during and after cancer treatment.