Multidisciplinary Cancer Care Team
Treating cancer isn’t just about treating the disease. It’s also about supporting and empowering you as an individual – body, mind and spirit. Our oncology specialists will help you and your loved ones through your entire treatment journey. Depending on the type of cancer you have and your personalized treatment plan, your care team may include one or more of the following experts:
Cancer rehabilitation physicians help ease some of the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment, so patients can stay as active and independent as possible.
Clinical trial specialists may include nurses or research assistants. They care for patients – from enrollment in clinical trials to treatment. They also help physicians collect data to review and analyze.
Dermatologists specialize in skin, nail and hair conditions, including skin cancer and hair loss. Specialists in this field include dermatologic oncologists, who are highly skilled at identifying, diagnosing and treating various types of skin cancer.
Dentists can play a supportive role in the care of patients undergoing treatment for some types of oral, head and neck cancers. Dentists often manage a patient’s oral health, along with potential side effects of cancer treatment. They may also assist with rehabilitation and restoration after some types of oral surgeries.
Endocrinologists specialize in diseases and conditions of the endocrine system, which produces hormones. They play an important role in treating endocrine cancer and its related conditions.
Gastroenterologists treat conditions of the digestive system, which includes the stomach, intestines, esophagus, liver and pancreas. Gastroenterologists may be the first to diagnose and treat gastrointestinal cancer in patients.
Gynecologic oncologists treat cancers of the female reproductive organs, including the ovaries, cervix and uterus. They also treat conditions that can lead to cancer.
Hematology specialists diagnose, treat and manage cancerous and non-cancerous conditions related to bone marrow and the blood and lymphatic systems. Some of the cancers they treat include leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
Hepatologists care for patients with cancer and other conditions that affect the liver, gallbladder, bile duct and pancreas. They also help evaluate and coordinate services when a patient needs a liver or pancreas transplant.
Integrative medicine practitioners often combine conventional medicine with supportive therapies. Examples of integrative therapies used to treat patients with cancer may include acupuncture, psychotherapy and counseling, naturopathic oncology and therapeutic massage.
Interventional radiologists are specialists who use imaging tools such as ultrasounds and MRIs to guide surgical procedures. Most of their cancer treatments are minimally invasive, meaning they don’t need to make large incisions during the procedure.
Medical geneticists specialize in diagnosing and treating genetic disorders and diseases, which are passed through genes or chromosomes. They also advise patients and families at risk for certain genetic disorders, including some cancers.
Medical oncologists are board-certified experts who treat tumors using chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapies and biological therapies. They work closely with other physicians and specialists to create a personalized cancer treatment plan for each patient.
Neurologists diagnose and treat disorders and diseases of the nervous system, including brain tumors. They may also be called upon to assess and manage neurological symptoms that may arise during or after cancer treatment.
Neuro-oncologists provide comprehensive treatment of brain and spinal tumors in adults and children.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are licensed health care providers who manage patients’ overall care and have a broader scope of practice than registered nurses (RNs). NPs who specialize in oncology focus on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Oncology nurses work with other members of the cancer care team to create and implement a personalized care plan that best fits each patient’s needs.
Oncology nurse navigators help patients understand their cancer diagnosis and treatment plan. The compassionate guidance of nurse navigators has been shown to improve treatment outcomes for patients. Some Providence locations have dedicated nurse navigators who specialize in specific cancer types.
Oncology nutrition experts work closely with patients diagnosed with cancer to set and meet nutrition goals. Eating well while being treated for cancer can help patients feel better, stay stronger and have more energy.
Otolaryngologists are doctors who specialize in ear, nose and throat conditions. They play an important role in treating patients with some endocrine cancers, or cancers of the head and neck.
Palliative care physicians focus on improving patients’ physical and emotional health and spiritual comfort while receiving cancer treatment. They give special attention to relieving pain.
Pathologists perform lab tests on blood and tissue to help other health care providers diagnose and treat patients.
Physical therapists help patients move more easily, build strength and reduce pain after surgery or radiation treatment. Physical therapy may include stretching, exercise, massage and skin care.
Pulmonologists specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions of the lungs and respiratory system. In addition to lung cancer, they may also treat conditions such as emphysema, tuberculosis and asthma.
Radiation oncologists are physicians specially trained in using radiation to treat cancers. They use the lowest doses of radiation possible to get the best outcomes with the fewest side effects.
Speech therapists work with patients who have speech, language and voice conditions, possibly as a result of treatment for some cancers, such as head and neck cancer. They also can help patients with feeding and swallowing difficulties.
Stoma nurses care for patients before, during and after bladder or bowel surgery, which may be necessary to treat conditions such as colon and bladder cancer.
Surgeons diagnose and operate on patients to remove tumors. Whenever possible, they use minimally invasive procedures to avoid making large incisions and to reduce recovery time. Examples of specialty surgeons include thoracic surgeons, colorectal surgeons, plastic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, and neurosurgeons.
Surgical oncologists are surgeons with special training and expertise in diagnosing and treating cancer. They use the newest and least invasive surgeries to get the best possible outcomes for patients.
Transplant teams are multidisciplinary care teams that manage a patient’s care before, during and after an organ transplant. These teams may include physicians, surgeons, financial coordinators, social workers, pharmacists and more.
Urologists treat disorders and conditions of the urology system, including the male reproductive system. Conditions they treat may include bladder cancer, testicular cancer, urinary incontinence and male infertility.
In addition to our expert cancer care, Providence offers a full range of support services to help you and your loved ones through your treatment journey as comfortably as possible. Browse Providence support services.
If you’re a Providence patient and have questions about your cancer care team, check with your nurse navigator.