Individuals diagnosed with cancer will have a team of various types of doctors that work collaboratively to help manage and treat their disease. Cancer not only affects an individual physically, but it also takes a toll on them mentally and emotionally. Medically, different methods of treatment for and management of cancer are so complex that several doctors will specialize in each aspect. Even cancers physically localized in a patient are considered systemic diseases because they affect multiple organ systems in the body and several aspects of the patient's life. Due to the nature and severity of cancer, the doctors who are part of the patient cancer care team will specialize in a variety of areas.
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The lead oncologist on a patient's cancer care team is the doctor who specializes in the diagnosis of cancer and its treatment. The lead oncologist leads the cancer care team from the time of diagnosis throughout the patient's disease. As the team leader, the lead oncologist helps explain the details and specifics of a patient's cancer diagnosis to the rest of the team and the individual's caregivers. Additionally, the lead oncologist explains and educates the team on the stage of a patient's cancer.
The lead oncologist discusses the options for the treatment of cancer, and they provide professional medical recommendations for the disease treatment course. The lead oncologist is also responsible for assisting the patient with the management of adverse effects of their various treatments and help alleviate other symptoms related to cancer. Usually, a patient's lead oncologist is specialized in the specific organ system, organ, type of tissue, or region of their body affected by cancer.
Read about the next professional on a patient's cancer care team now.