When you are looking after someone with cancer, you will probably meet a lot of different professionals. This could be in the hospital, or at home.
We have put together a list of people you might talk to. This will help you to understand their jobs and ask them the right questions.
Benefits advisers are sometimes called welfare rights advisers. They can help people get money from the government if they need it. These payments are called benefits. They can also help you apply for grants from other organisations and charities.
Clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or keyworker
A clinical nurse specialist is a nurse who specialises in a particular illness. They may also be your keyworker. A keyworker is someone who will keep in touch with you and the person you care for, and provide any extra support or information you need.
A nurse who cares for people at home. They can give the person you look after any medication they need, and provide other nursing care. They are also called district nurses.
Someone you or the person you look after can talk to about feelings and worries.
Someone who can help with eating and nutrition.
You may meet some of the following doctors:
- Consultant – an expert doctor. They are in charge when the person you look after is given treatment in hospital. They have a team of doctors working with them.
- GP – a local doctor. You may know this person already. They can help when the person you look after is out of hospital. You can also talk to them about any problems you have.
- Haematologist – a doctor who specialises in blood problems.
- Oncologist – a doctor who is an expert in cancer.
- Pathologist – a doctor who studies cells and looks at biopsies.
- Radiologist – a doctor who is trained to look at x-rays and scans.
- Surgeon – a doctor who does operations.
- Medical student – someone who is training to become a doctor. They may come round with the qualified doctors who are treating the person you look after, so that they can learn about what happens.
- Palliative care doctor – a doctor who specialises in helping people cope with the symptoms of cancer.
Someone who can help the person you look after to do everyday tasks if they are unwell or unable to do things themselves.
Someone who gives out medicines that have been prescribed, and gives advice about medicines.
Someone who takes blood samples.
Someone who can help the person you look after with walking or moving around, if they have problems with this.
Someone who can help you manage your feelings, if you are finding it hard to cope. They can also help the person you look after.
Someone who takes x-rays and scans. They also give radiotherapy treatment, which is planned by an oncologist.
Someone who can help you and your family with money or work issues or other problems.
A nurse who makes sure the person you look after is cared for in hospital. They will give them any regular treatments they need.
Youth support coordinator
Someone who can arrange activities and help young people stay active and social during and after treatment. They are funded by the Teenage Cancer Trust. You may meet them if you look after a brother, sister or young family member.
Someone who works with young people to help them stay active and social, and to reach any goals they would like to achieve. They can support young people living with cancer, or young people looking after someone with cancer.
Young carer worker
A young carer worker is specially trained to support young carers and their families.