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Dr West

Orienting to the Roles of the Players on Your Cancer Care Team

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There are many overwhelming aspects to a new diagnosis of cancer, and one of the key ones is the range of health care professionals involved in cancer care.  On the plus side, it’s helpful that cancer now typically involves a team of people with complementary roles and skills, but it can be hard to keep track of who does what.  Here’s a link to a post I did for LUNGevity at their request, describing the roles of the most common players on the team of professionals working with a patient being diagnosed with lung cancer.

The cast of characters is pretty similar for other cancer types as well, except that someone like a gastroenterologist replaces the role of the pulmonologist for someone with a suspected colon cancer, a urologist (a surgical specialist in the genitourinary system) replaces the thoracic surgeon for someone with a suspected bladder cancer, etc.  But the general rule always applies that especially for a role like a surgeon or radiation oncologist, where technique is a critical element, outcomes tend to be best for those who are more specialized and experienced.

There is certainly variability in the components of a care team based on the health care system, resources in the area, and specific needs for an individual patient’s case.  If you have specific questions about the role of the various people involved in cancer care, I’d be happy to try to answer them here.


2 Responses to Orienting to the Roles of the Players on Your Cancer Care Team

  • certain spring says:

    Something wrong with the link, I think? I went direct to http://expertblog.lungevity.org/.

  • Dr West
    Dr West says:

    I think that should have gotten you to the post (it’s at the top of the blog), but I’ve fixed the URL. It should take you to the post, which is on the LUNGevity website.

    -Dr. West

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