The cancer care team: Doctor

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When being treated for cancer, you will have many different types of doctors. Read about what you can expect from your doctor and how they will help you through your diagnosis and treatment.

Key points

  • During diagnosis, you will see many different doctors; once you are diagnosed you will usually have one doctor assigned to you to be in charge of your health care.
  • Doctors are the ones who decide on your treatment and are able to answer any questions you may have about your diagnosis, treatment and how you're feeling.

Over the course of your treatment, you’ll probably see many different types of doctors. They will sometimes be called physicians.

When you’re diagnosed, one doctor will usually be assigned to you and be in charge of your care. However, you’ll still see many other doctors over your time in hospital and in follow-up clinics. All the doctors will work together to make sure you’re getting the best treatment that’s right for you.

How can a doctor help me?

A doctor will be involved in diagnosing the type of cancer you have and deciding on your treatment, medication, or surgery. The doctor will also help to manage any symptoms you might have such as pain and nausea. They will also perform important procedures such as surgery, lumbar (lower back) punctures or bone marrow tests.

Doctors make sense of all the information gathered from your tests and procedures such as blood test results, X-rays and scans, biopsies and surgeries. They use this information to decide what type of therapies should be part of your treatment. If you have questions about these things, your doctor is a great person to ask. Also, if you would like your doctor to consider certain things when deciding about treatment, let them know. For example, if you feel from past experience that one particular medication works well to control your nausea, tell your doctor. Your input is often helpful.

Last updated: September 3rd 2019