Sarah Cannon - March 17, 2022

Did you know that on average a patient can see up to eight cancer experts during the cancer journey from diagnosis through survivorship?

Who are these cancer experts and how do they help you?

For more information on your cancer care team, visit Get to Know Your Cancer Care Team on the Sarah Cannon Blog.

Pathologist: Studies cells and tissues under a microscope and relays information about the cells to physicians to determine best treatment options.

Radiologist: Diagnoses cancer by interpreting imaging of areas inside the body.

Interventional radiologist: Performs minimally invasive, image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat cancers without the use of surgery.

Medical oncologist: Specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer patients with chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy. Medical oncologists are often one of the first cancer physicians patients work with along their cancer journey.

Radiation oncologist: Treats cancer using high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors. To learn more about radiation therapy, visit Radiation Therapy – FAQs on the Sarah Cannon website.

Gynecologic oncologist: Specializes in diagnosing and treating cancers that are located on a woman’s reproductive organs. Gynecologic oncologists have completed obstetrics and gynecology residency and then pursued subspecialty training through a gynecologic oncology fellowship, and are knowledgeable in all treatments for this tumor type. For more information on gynecologic cancer, visit Gynecologic Cancer on the Sarah Cannon website or Gynecologic Cancer on the Sarah Cannon Blog.

Surgical oncologist: A surgeon certified in Complex General Surgical Oncology has specific knowledge and skills related to the diagnosis, multidisciplinary treatment, and rehabilitation required by patients with cancer, especially those with complex presentations or requiring complex general surgical oncology procedures, or with rare or unusual cancers.

Nurse navigator: In order to help patients stay connected with their multidisciplinary care team, Sarah Cannon provides nurse navigators specialized in types of cancer to guide them from discovery to recovery. To learn more, visit Nurse Navigators on the Sarah Cannon website.

Breast surgeon: A surgeon who has a strong commitment to the care of patients with benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancer) breast disease. All breast surgeons in the United States have completed a surgical residency. Some breast surgeons have completed additional training, called a fellowship, which was dedicated to breast surgery or oncology. Others who have been a surgeon for many years may have begun practicing long before breast surgery fellowships were available. For more information on breast cancer, visit Breast Cancer on the Sarah Cannon website or Breast Cancer on the Sarah Cannon Blog.

Colorectal surgeon: Colon and rectal surgeons develop the knowledge and skills necessary to diagnose and treat various diseases of the intestinal tract, colon, rectum, anal canal, and perianal area through medical and surgical means. They are also able to deal surgically with other organs and tissues (such as the liver, urinary, and female reproductive systems) involved with primary intestinal disease. A colon and rectal surgeon has expertise in diagnosing and often managing anorectal conditions in the office, such as hemorrhoids, fissures (painful tears in the anal lining), abscesses, and fistulae (infections located around the anus and rectum). For more information about colorectal cancer, visit Colorectal Cancer on the Sarah Cannon website or GI Cancer on the Sarah Cannon Blog.

Cardio thoracic surgeon: A medical doctor who specializes in surgical procedures of the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. This includes surgeons who can be called cardiac surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, general thoracic surgeons, and congenital heart surgeons.

Thoracic surgeon: Thoracic surgery involves the operative management, perioperative care, and critical care of patients with pathological conditions within the chest. Specifically, it includes surgical care for coronary artery disease; cancers of the lung, esophagus, and chest wall; abnormalities of the great vessels and heart valves; congenital anomalies; tumors of the mediastinum; and diseases of the diaphragm. The management of the airway and injuries to the chest are also areas of surgical practice for the thoracic surgeon. For more information on Lung Cancer, visit Lung Cancer on the Sarah Cannon website or Lung Cancer on the Sarah Cannon Blog.

General surgeon: A specialist who is trained to manage a broad spectrum of surgical conditions affecting almost any area of the body. The surgeon establishes the diagnosis and provides the preoperative, operative, and post-operative care to patients and is often responsible for the comprehensive management of the trauma victim and the critically ill patient. During at least a five-year educational period after obtaining a medical degree, the surgeon acquires knowledge and technical skills in managing medical conditions that relate to the head and neck, breast, skin, and soft tissues, abdominal wall, extremities, and the gastrointestinal, vascular, and endocrine systems.

Plastic surgeon: The specialty of plastic surgery deals with the repair, replacement, and reconstruction of defects of the form and function of the body covering and its underlying musculoskeletal system, with emphasis on the craniofacial structures, the oropharynx, the upper and lower limbs, the breast, and the external genitalia. This surgical specialty also focuses on the aesthetic surgery of structures with undesirable form.

Interventional pulmonologist: Interventional pulmonology is a new field within pulmonary medicine focused on the use of advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for patients with lung cancer, airway disorders, and pleural diseases.

For questions about your cancer care team, call askSARAH at (844) 482-4812 or visit askSARAH online.