Know Your Team

A team of medical doctors who are experts in different areas of liver cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment will help to develop the best treatment plan for you. The team may include some and/or all of the following:

  • Hepatologist (Liver Doctor): A doctor who takes care of people with disease of the liver. Because this type of cancer is liver-related they work hand-in hand with the oncologists
  • Gastroenterologist: specializes in diseases of all the digestive tract organs, including the liver, stomach, intestines, pancreas, and gallbladder. 
  • Infectious Disease Doctor: A doctor who specializes in taking care of patients with infections. These infections can be caused either by bacteria or viruses, including viruses that affect the liver.
  • Interventional Radiologist: A doctor (radiologist) who uses image guidance methods to gain access to vessels and organs. Interventional radiologists can treat certain conditions through the skin that might otherwise require surgery. The technology includes the use of balloons, catheters, microcatheters, stents, and therapeutic embolization.
  • Mental Health Providers: A specialist (psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker) who is there to provide assistance with therapy as needed.
  • Nurse: A professional caregiver working usually in conjunction with a doctor or nurse practitioner that provides healthcare. Nurses work in a wide variety of settings including medical offices, clinics, and home healthcare, to name just a few.
  • Nurse manager/coordinator: To help with appointments and scheduling procedures.
  • Nurse Practitioner: A registered nurse with a graduate degree in advanced practice nursing that can diagnose and treat minor illnesses and perform routine procedures.
  • Nutritionist: The individual on the care team that provides guidance on your diet.
  • Oncologic Surgeon: A surgeon who treats cancer by operating on patients and removing tumors via surgery.
  • Oncologist: A doctor who specializes in the treatment of cancer. There are oncologists who further specialize in medical oncology (treatment of cancer with medicine and drugs), surgical oncology (treatment of cancer with surgery) and radiation oncology (treatment of cancer using radiation).
  • Palliative Care Physician: A doctor who specializes in relieving the pain and other draining symptoms of serious and chronic illness.
  • Pharmacist: The individual on the team trained to dispense medicines and give advice on the best way to take them. Pharmacists are a great resource of information about the medicines you are taking, how they may interact with food, other medicines and the best time of day to take them.
  • Primary Care Physician (PCP): A doctor who is the first point of contact and manages the overall care and health of patients. This doctor refers patients to other specialists as needed.
  • Radiation Oncologist: A doctor who specializes in the treatment of cancer using radiation therapy.
  • Radiologist: A doctor who works with images, x-rays or radiation for medical reasons. A radiologist is an expert at reading and interpreting films and scans to understand what is happening to parts of the body (organs, bones, etc.).
  • Social Worker: A social worker is the person on the team supporting efforts to obtain community services and resources, a link to counselling and family treatment and therapy.
  • Tumor Board: A group of doctors who are experts in different areas who review and talk about the medical condition and treatment options of a patient. A tumor board would include a medical oncologist (the doctor that provides cancer drugs), an oncologic surgeon (the doctor that provides cancer treatment with surgery) and a radiation oncologist (the doctor that provides cancer treatment with radiation). Also, a hepatologist, a radiologist, a pathologist, and nurse coordinators are included. This group discussion provides a treatment plan and care plan for a patient and frequently used in cancer cases. The Team of health specialists, get together regularly to discuss each case of liver cancer, and make decisions and contribute to your care and management.
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