BUILD A CANCER CARE TEAM

Who is on your care team

Learn who may be on your care team and who may be able to answer your questions

Who Is On Your Cancer Care Team?

You should have a dedicated, caring team of health experts by your side throughout your care. Use this information to learn about their roles in your care and the types of questions you may want to ask them.

The cancer care team

The members of your care team are based on your needs and treatment goals. The types of health care providers listed below are likely to be on your care team.

Oncologists

Oncologists are doctors with special training to treat cancer. Your oncologist will diagnose your cancer, help you to decide on the best treatment, and oversee your care.

Example questions to ask your oncologist.

  • What type of cancer do I have?
  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • How serious is my cancer?
  • Why do you recommend this treatment?
        
What type of cancer do I have?
What is the stage of my cancer?
How serious is my cancer?
Why do you recommend this treatment?    

Surgeons

Surgeons are trained to do surgery on many parts of the body and treat a range of conditions. A surgical oncologist specializes in performing surgery to treat cancer, remove tumors or parts of the body affected by cancer. They will also help diagnose your cancer and care for you after surgery.

Example questions to ask your surgeon.

  • What will you do in this surgery?
  • What are the risks?
  • How long will the surgery take?
  • What will my recovery be like?
        
What will you do in this surgery?
What are the risks?
How long will the surgery take?
What will my recovery be like?    

Oncology nurses

Oncology nurses speak with your doctors about your needs, check your physical condition, and help you deal with side effects as you go through treatment.

Example questions to ask your oncology nurse.

  • How will I get my treatment?
  • What are the side effects to my treatment?
  • What symptoms should prompt me to call you right away?
  • Should I tell you about medicines or supplements I am currently taking?
        
How will I get my treatment?
What are the side effects to my treatment?
What symptoms should prompt me to call you right away?
Should I tell you about medicines or supplements I am currently taking?    

Radiation oncologists

Radiation oncologists are doctors with special training to use radiation (high dose) to treat
cancer.

Example questions to ask your radiation oncologist.

  • Why do you recommend radiation therapy to treat my cancer?
  • How will radiation help me?
  • What are the possible side effects of radiation therapy?
        
Why do you recommend radiation therapy to treat my cancer?
How will radiation help me?
What are the possible side effects of radiation therapy?    

Radiologist and pathologists

Pathologists are doctors who specialize in interpreting laboratory tests and analyzing cells, tissues, and organs to diagnose disease. Radiologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating disease using medical imaging techniques. These doctors help other members of your cancer care team to decide the type and stage of your cancer.

If you have questions about tests and test results, talk to your doctor.

Your voice is important

Your feelings and opinions are important for decisions about your care. Reach out to your care team any time you have questions or concerns. Partner with your team to make sure you get the care you want.