General Practitioner (GP)
A general practitioner provides (GP) primary care. Sometimes he/she is also called the family doctor. It is the doctor we visit when we have flu or any symptom such as headache or dizziness. Most probably it is the physician you went to when you had any mesothelioma symptoms. He/She is probably the one that performed the physical examination on your first visit in order to examine your symptoms. You may have been referred to another physician if he/she suspected cancer.
An Oncologist is a physician that studies, diagnoses and treats cancers. An oncologist usually offers services in hospitals, medical centers and research centre. He/she may suggest procedures such as X-Ray Scan and MRI scan and biopsies in order to diagnose mesothelioma. He/She treats cancer by various methods such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. An oncologist also deals with palliative care and also offers other services. Palliative care is medical care that concentrates on the reduction of the symptoms of the disease rather than on the actual treatment. There are specialties and sub specialties in oncology (the branch of medicine that studies tumors and cancers). For example a medical oncologist specializes in the treatment of cancers. A surgical oncologist specializes in surgical treatments such as biopsies and cancer removal. A radiation oncologist specializes in the treatment of cancer by radiation.
A radiation oncologist is a physician who specializes in the area of radiation therapy that treats cancer. He/She will be responsible for the amount of radiation you receive, plans for your treatment and follow up after your treatment. After your radiation treatment is terminated you will visit the radiation oncologist in order to assess to what extent the treatment has been effective and for any late side effects. A radiation oncologist works closely with other members of your care team.
This is a physician specializing in radiology. Radiology is the field that studies techniques to diagnose and sometimes also to treat diseases. There are various sub-specialties in the field of radiology. In the case of mesothelioma you may encounter a chest radiologist. This is a physician that is concerned with the diagnoses of diseases of the heart and lungs. A computed tomography (CT) radiologists is concerned with the diagnosis of diseases using computerized tomography (CT). A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) radiologist is concerned with the diagnosis of diseases using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) and other subspecialties.
This is a lung specialist who monitors the effects of mesothelioma on the respiratory system. In the case of mesothelioma, breathing may became difficult as the disease progresses. A pulmonary therapist can provide treatments and devices in order to ease breathing difficulties and so can considerably improve the quality of life of mesothelioma sufferers. He/she can also work with other professionals in order to improve lung function and to help mesothelioma sufferers recover after surgery. A pulmonary therapist can also prescribe exercises in order to strengthen the lungs of the patient and can also educate patients how to clear their lungs from fluids.
A pathologist specializes in the diagnosis of diseases by examining tissues, blood or blood fluids and can perform other duties. In the case of mesothelioma a pathologist examines the sample of tissue or fluid obtained from the patients in order to determine if the sample contains cancerous cells or otherwise. He/she has usually the final word in the diagnosis of the disease.
Being diagnosed and treated with mesothelioma can be very stressing. The patient may suffer from many negative emotions such as depression, anxiety and many other negative feelings. A psychologist can offer counseling and psychotherapy in order to deal with these negative symptoms. In the case of mesothelioma, psychotherapy may involve the treatment of emotional disorders by talking about your condition with a psychologist or psychiatrist. In addition to the roles of the psychologist, a psychiatrist can also prescribe medications. A psychologist can help the patient to learn to live with cancer and to cope with the diagnosis and treatment. Some psychologists are also trained to work with cancer patients.
A cancer nurse offers counseling and support for mesothelioma patients. This nurse usually has advanced training and she/he can take your medical history, do physical exams, performs tests and manage your side effects. A cancer nurse contributes also in educating the patient and their families about mesothelioma. He/She has a very important role in the process of the rehabilitation of the patient.