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Your Health Care Team

Multidisciplinary Care
what it is • why is it important

Types of Lung Cancer Doctors
medical oncologist • radiation oncologist • thoracic surgeon • pulmonologist • interventional radiologist

Other Health Care Professionals
social worker • psychiatrist • psychologist • respiratory therapist • dietician • home health aide • hospice care specialist

Multidisciplinary Care

Your Health Care Team: Your Doctor is Only the Beginning (NCI Cancer Facts)
Describes cancer health care professionals and their roles: social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, home health aides, rehabilitation specialists, dieticians, clergy, hospice care specialists, among others. [4/00]

The Impact of a Multidisciplinary Team, in a Single Centre, on Treatment and Survival in Patients with NSCLC (PubMed)
Abstract of a study published in the October 18, 2005 issue of the British Journal of Cancer found differences in treatment and extended survival among lung cancer patients after the introduction of a multidisciplinary team. [10/05]

Types of Lung Cancer Doctors


Types of Oncologists (ASCO)
Describes the three primary types of oncologists: medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists. Discusses the role of the oncologist and how to select an oncologist.

Radiation Oncologist

About the Radiation Oncology Treatment Team (American Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology)
Describes the role of a radiation oncologist in the treatment of cancer. Introduces the other medical professionals who work together to support the radiation oncologist: radiation oncology nurses, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and medical physicists, among others. [n.d.]

Thoracic Surgeon

Thoracic Surgery: Questions and Answers (Society of Thoracic Surgeons)
Briefly describes thoracic surgery and thoracic surgeons.

"Specialists Achieve Better Outcomes Than Generalists for Lung Cancer" (ACCP)
CHEST, September 1998; 114(3):675-680
Abstract of a CHEST article reporting the results of a 1991-1995 study that concluded mortality is lower for lung cancer resection when the surgery is performed by a thoracic surgeon. [9/98]

Surgeons Specializing in Lung Cancer Perform Better Quality Surgery (Doctor's Guide)
Study reported at the January 2004 annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons suggests that surgeons who specialize in lung cancer are more likely to perform more complete surgeries and have better outcomes than other surgeons in patients with limited SCLC. [1/04]

Interventional Radiologist

What is the Difference Between a Surgeon and an Interventional Radiologist? (Society of Interventional Radiology)
Brief explanation of the difference between a surgeon and an interventional radiologist. [n.d.]

Other Health Care Professionals

Oncology Social Worker

An Oncology Social Worker Can Help (People Living With Cancer)
Describes how oncology social workers provide services, information and support to cancer patients and their families. Explains that an oncology social worker can act as a liaison between patients and their medical team, help patients to navigate the health-care system, and connect patients and their families with much-needed resources to help them manage the day-to-day challenges of living with cancer. [5/05]

Medical Social Workers (CancerLynx)
Describes social workers and the varied social services they provide patients/clients: e.g., supportive counseling, psychosocial assessment, long and short term care planning, financial and legal counseling, among others. [10/00]

Respiratory Therapist

What Is a Respiratory Therapist? (American Association for Respiratory Care)
AARC's website,, explains what respiratory therapists are and describes various diagnostic and therapeutic procedures they may perform [2005].


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Last modified: 18-Feb-2009
Karen Parles, MLS Editor