Your care team

During your cancer treatment, you’ll meet many different people who all work together to provide you with the best possible care.

The exact make-up of your team will depend on your age, the type of cancer you have and the hospital you are at. Your team may include:

Consultant
Oncologist
Haematologist
Surgeon
Hospital multi-disciplinary team (MDT) 
Oncology pharmacist
Radiologist
Therapeutic radiographer
Diagnostic radiographer
Teenage and young adult multi-disciplinary team (TYA MDT)
Ward nurses
Specialist nurses
Community or district nurse
Ward doctor
GP
Pain control team
Dietitian
Physiotherapist
Occupational therapist
Psychologist
Social care professionals

Consultant

A senior doctor will take the lead in your diagnosis and treatment. They may be known as a specialist, a consultant or have some other title. They will usually specialise in the type of cancer that you have been diagnosed with. You may not see this person every time you visit the hospital – sometimes you might see other doctors on the consultant’s team who are at different levels of their specialist training. There are several different types of consultants you may meet:

Oncologist

A doctor who treats people with cancer. There are three types of oncologist. Clinical oncologists treat patients of all ages with radiotherapy, and adults with drug treatments. Medical oncologists treat adult patients with drug treatments. Paediatric oncologists treat children with drug treatments.

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Haemotologist

A doctor who specialises in blood disorders, including leukaemia and lymphoma.

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Surgeon

This doctor will specialise in the type of surgery related to your condition.

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Hospital multi-disciplinary team (MDT)

The group of healthcare professionals, led by a consultant, who make decisions together about your care.

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Oncology pharmacist

They specialise in the drugs used to treat cancer. They can give advice about the side effects of a particular drug and can help your doctors with prescribing drugs to control things like pain or nausea.

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Radiologist

A doctor who specialises in interpreting X-rays or scans to help with your diagnosis or treatment.

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Therapeutic radiographer

This is the person who operates the machine that gives you radiotherapy treatment.

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Diagnostic radiographer

A diagnostic radiographer is the person who operates the machines that take your x-rays or scans.

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Teenage and young adult multi-disciplinary team (TYA MDT)

A team of health and social care professionals who specialise in the treatment of young people with cancer. They are available to advise hospital MDTs of 16 to 24-year-olds to help ensure you get the most appropriate treatment, care and support.

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Ward nurses

They carry out day-to-day care and provide ongoing treatment, including giving injections and taking blood samples.

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Specialist nurses

These are nurses who have had extra training in certain areas of care. The type of specialist nurses may vary between hospital teams. Your team may include:

  • Paediatric specialist nurses who support children with cancer and leukaemia
  • Teenage and young adult specialist nurses who support young people up to the age of 24
  • Cancer site specific nurses who support people with a specific type of cancer, such as a lymphoma nurse specialist or a sarcoma nurse specialist
  • Late effects nurse specialists who support children and young people through any long-term effects of their treatment.

Community or district nurse

These nurses provide care at home and any medication you may need.

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Ward doctor

These doctors, under the supervision of the oncologist, will do most of your tests and treatments.

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GP

They care for you when you're back at home. Your consultant will keep the GP informed about your treatment.

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Pain control team

Your pain team are specialists in helping you with any pain or other symptoms, such as nausea or loss of appetite, caused by your cancer or its treatment.

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Dietitian

Your dietitian will provide you with nutritional advice to help you deal with your treatment and any side effects.

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Physiotherapist

A specialist in using exercise and activities to help you during your treatment and also to help you recover physically afterwards.

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Occupational therapist

An occupational therapist can help you maintain the physical and psychological skills that you need to continue with your day-to-day life.

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Psychologist

They may be available at your treatment hospital to help you deal with your diagnosis, treatment and beyond.

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Social care professionals

You may have a CLIC Sargent Young People’s Social Worker or Community Worker based at the Principal Treatment Centre in your area, who can provide emotional support as well as practical help with financial issues, education, employment and training.

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Updated December 2014, next review planned 2017.

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