NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults
Part 4: Navigating the treatment process
primary care practitioner
(family doctor, internist,
general practitioner, etc.) who handles medical care
that isn’t related to the cancer. This person should
be kept up to date on your cancer care and receive
summaries of your progress.
specializes in the systemic treatment of cancer. This
person will be the one who prescribes chemotherapy.
Often, he or she will also coordinate the overall
treatment team and keep track of tests and exams
performed by other specialists.
who will provide much of your
hands-on care, including administering chemotherapy,
coordinating care, answering questions, and helping
you cope with treatment side effects. Oncology nurse
practitioners and physician assistants may also
perform health assessments and physical exams,
order and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests,
prescribe medications, and order chemotherapy.
who provide counseling, help with
discharge planning and home care, and help with
finding community resources.
who can help with arranging
financial support, transportation, and child care during
treatment; coordinating care among several doctors;
and providing emotional support.
to provide nutritional advice
and help you plan menus to meet your nutritional
needs during cancer treatment.
Depending on your diagnosis your team may also
who will perform any surgical
who will provide anesthesia
during surgery or procedures such as bone marrow
aspiration or some forms of endoscopy,
who will prescribe and
oversee radiation therapy,
who specializes in
treating cancer of the female reproductive system,
who specializes in treating cancer of the
male reproductive system,
who interprets laboratory tests and
evaluates cells, tissues, and organs removed during a
biopsy or cancer surgery,
who reviews and interprets
the results of x-rays and other imaging tests,
who can help
you cope with the psychological and emotional effects
of dealing with cancer and who will also monitor your
overall psychological well-being as you go through
treatment (psychiatrists are medical doctors and can
also prescribe medication as needed), and
Physical, occupational, speech,
who can help you with specific problems
related to the cancer, its treatment, and recovery from