After you have seen your GP, you may have some tests and scans at the hospital to help the doctors make a diagnosis.
Usually, if you have been diagnosed with cancer, a team of health professionals will work together to plan the treatment they feel is best for your situation. This team is called a multidisciplinary team (MDT).
Depending on the type of cancer you have and how it is treated, you may be seen by some or all of these healthcare professionals:
- Surgeon – a doctor who specialises in a specific cancer type and does operations.
- Medical oncologist – a doctor who specialises in treating cancer with chemotherapy.
- Clinical oncologist – a doctor who specialises in treating cancer with radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
- Haematologist – a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating blood disorders, including some cancers.
- Pathologist – a doctor who studies cells and body tissues.
- Clinical nurse specialist – an expert nurse who specialises in a particular area of health, such as cancer or a specific cancer type.
- Radiologist – a specialist in x-rays and scans.
You may also be seen by other health or social care professionals, such as a physiotherapist, dietitian, occupational therapist (OT), radiographer, doctor or nurse who specialises in symptom control, or a counsellor or psychologist.
Even after you have been diagnosed, you may need more tests to find out the type and size of the cancer and whether it has begun to spread. The MDT will meet together to discuss the results of these tests and plan your treatment. They will consider a number of things, including:
- the type and size of the cancer and whether it has spread
- your general health
- national treatment guidelines and evidence for your type of cancer.