Mesothelioma is a complex disease which requires many various types of treatment. Although your initial diagnosis is expected to stem from your mesothelioma doctor, you will probably come across a range of other mesothelioma doctors and specialists during your treatment and care program.
Each type of mesothelioma doctor or team member specializes a different field, and this helps to ensure that each patient receives the best possible care from the best suited professional. Below you will find a rundown of a typical cancer care team and mesothelioma doctors:
General Practitioner: Your doctor may not be a specialist in the field of cancer, but usually is your first point of contact. He or she is also the person that can provide much of your medical history and details to any consultants or specialists who are dealing with you. Your doctor is the person that will refer you to a cancer care team or specialist following your initial visit and diagnosis.
Pulmonologist: This is a mesothelioma doctor who has received specialist training, and has acquired specialist skills and knowledge in the field of lung disorders. A pulmonologist is trained to diagnose and treat conditions and diseases relating to the lungs, such as lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and COPD.
Thoracic Surgeon: This is a mesothelioma doctor that has been trained and specializes in performing surgery on the heart, lungs, chest, and esophagus. These surgeons can deal with conditions such as coronary disease, lung and abdominal cancers, heart and lung surgery.
Medical Oncologist: This is a doctor who is a trained specialist in the field of treatment for cancer through chemotherapy. There are the variety of different types of oncologists, all of whom specialize in the treatment of cancer.
Radiation Oncologist: This is another type of oncologist, who is also an expert in the field of treating cancer, but this time through radiation therapy.
Radiologist: This is a physician who is an expert in the field of using imagines equipment (such as x-rays, scans, and ultrasound) to diagnose diseases and problems.
Pathologist: This is a mesothelioma doctor who is trained to monitor and evaluate cell changes which can indicate the presence of disease. Pathologists do this through examination of bodily fluids and excretions, such as urine, blood, stools, sputum, etc. These doctors identify changes in cells and also perform post-mortems; however, they do not directly treat patients.
Social Worker: Although not a medical member of the team, a social worker is there to provide invaluable support and resources to patients at a time when they need as much assistance and advice as possible.
Respiratory Therapist: This is a trained medical worker who specializes in evaluating, treating and monitoring patients who have had or are still having breathing problems.
As you can see, you may become involved with a wide variety of professionals while being cared for by the cancer care team, and with such an experienced pool of professionals at hand, you should receive excellent care from trained specialists.
Because the various types of mesothelioma affect different parts of the body, you may find that you are dealt with by a handful of the cancer care team or, at some point, by every member. It largely depends on the kind of cancer and the location and extent of cancer.