Dedicated to Getting You Well
Once you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, there are often feelings of "what do I do now?" While the journey ahead may be challenging, you’ll never be alone. Your cancer care team will guide you every step of the way.
Who Will Be a Part of My Care Team?
The members of your care team depend on what type of cancer you have. Because each type of cancer is different, and each person’s treatment plan can be different, the doctors you work with are determined by your needs. However, these are the professionals who participate in treating cancer patients:
Medical Oncologist—typically the coordinating doctor for cancer patients, this person oversees chemotherapy, in addition to other non-radiation and non-surgical treatments, like hormone therapy. Many medical oncologists are also board-certified in hematology, which means they can treat blood-related diseases and cancers.
Radiation Oncologist—working closely with a team of caregivers including radiation therapists (who administer radiation treatments), dosimetrists (who design radiation treatment plans), and physicists (who ensure the safe and proper operation of radiation therapy machines), a radiation oncologist makes sure that the cancer is treated accurately and precisely, while avoiding radiation damage to healthy tissue around the cancerous area. This person also works closely with the other doctors providing care.
Surgeon—trained in cancer-related surgeries, a surgeon removes any cancerous tumors or tissue. Surgeons can be general surgeons, or specialize in certain areas of the body, such as the brain.
Pathologist—a specialist in studying and diagnosing disease, a pathologist interprets tumor tissue to help diagnose the stage and characteristics of a patient’s cancer.
Radiologist—similar to a pathologist, a radiologist studies and diagnoses cancer through diagnostic images, such as ultrasounds and MRIs.
Rehab Therapist—this type of specialist helps patients manage pain and regain strength, flexibility, and mobility that may have been lost as a result of cancer treatment. He or she can also help manage conditions such as lymphedema, which causes swelling in the arms or legs due to lymph fluid build-up.
Behavioral Health Specialist—focusing on mental health, a behavioral health specialist helps patients cope with the many emotions that accompany cancer. Discover how ThedaCare’s Behavioral Health Specialists can help
Genetic Counselor—this type of specialist helps patients understand any genetic disorders, such as a gene mutation, that might put themselves or their family members at risk for developing cancer. Learn more about Genetic Counseling
Plastic Surgeon—for patients who’ve had a body-altering surgery such as a mastectomy, a plastic surgeon can perform reconstructive surgery.
Care Coordinator—typically a nurse, this person is a main point of contact, and can help relay information between patients and their doctors, and set up appointments.
Additional Support Staff—technicians, dieticians, cosmetologists, and social workers also play a key role in the care team, making sure the health of both mind and body is addressed during the road to recovery.
You may work with only a few of these people, or all of them. Regardless, they’ll all be in constant communication with each other, and you, to know exactly what’s happening in your treatment plan.
We firmly believe that you are the most important member of your care team. You and your family will know exactly what the recommended steps are for your treatment. And, if changes need to be made to your care plan, we’ll work with you to determine the best way to move forward.
Most importantly, you’ll have the final say in your treatment—our doctors are there to guide you, not force you into any decisions you’re uncomfortable with.
Getting Started With Treatment
While cancer treatment can be different for each patient, you can still get an idea of what to expect.
Learn about your treatment options