Who's on the Team?

 
Every MDC has a different team according to the requirements of that particular clinic or specialty but in general, the following professionals are usually part of the team:
  • Medical oncologist - a physician who is trained in the treatment and prognosis of cancer and administration of chemotherapy drugs and monitoring for response and side effects of the medication.
  • Radiation oncologist - an oncologist who is specialized in administering radiation therapy to treat cancer.
  • Surgical oncologist - if needed, a surgeon may operate to remove any tumors or cancerous tissue. Surgical oncologists are different from general surgeons in that they have specialist skills and experience that enable them to surgically remove tumors without the risk of spreading the disease to adjacent tissues while at the same time minimizing the loss of function to the organ or area of the body in which the tumor is growing.
  • Pathologist- a doctor who is specialized in diagnosing diseases from laboratory tests. Pathologists in cancer centers usually have more experience in the diagnosis of rare tumors using special molecular techniques.
  • Radiologist- a doctor who is an expert in obtaining and interpreting images from x-rays, CT scans, MRIs and other types of medical images that are important in accurately diagnosing cancer.
  • Other specialists – other specialists such as dentists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, pulmonologists, gastroenterologists and gynecologists may be part of the MDC team depending on the types of cancer the MDC treats.
Other staff:
  • Nurse coordinator or oncology nurse – a nurse specially trained in giving chemotherapy and nursing care to cancer patients. Nurse coordinators at KHCC are also the contact person with whom the patient can discuss problems that they may have, such as the need for additional medication refills, or if they are experiencing any side effects which might require further medical attention.
  • Nutritionist – People undergoing cancer treatment usually have to follow a special diet for a while because their immune system is weaker and so they are more susceptible to infections. Other patients might have special dietary requirements as a result of treatment. Nutritionists work closely with the MDC team to ensure that the patient is receiving enough nutrients to keep their body strong during all stages of cancer treatment.
  • Physical therapist and occupational therapist – Sometimes after surgery or other cancer treatment procedures, patients can temporarily or permanently lose function in an area of their body. Physical and occupational therapists are on hand to help with rehabilitation.
  • Speech therapist- cancer patients, especially those with head and neck tumors, might experience a change in their speech. Speech therapists help them recover and improve their speech ability.
  • Social worker – social workers at KHCC work to improve the quality of life of patients, especially underprivileged patients, by helping them arrange logistics such as transport and temporary accommodation close to the Center so that patients and their families don’t experience too much stress during cancer treatment.
  • Psychiatrist or psychologist- cancer treatment is usually a tough period for patients and their families and some might experience emotional difficulty in adjusting to the situation. Psychiatrists and psychologists at KHCC are here to help patients and their families cope with cancer and offer counseling to help them talk through their feelings with a professional.
  • Clinical pharmacists- work closely with physicians to make sure that patients are receiving the right medication in the right doses. They advise patients on how or when to take certain medications.