Our Cancer Care Team
We understand that learning you have cancer can be overwhelming. Here, we provide far more than medical treatments – we provide healing physical, emotional and spiritual support. Our team is built around you, starting with your own nurse navigator who will guide you through this entire journey. Expect us to care for you as a person while treating you for cancer. Our experts – including board-certified doctors and nurses with advanced training, skilled therapists and healthcare professionals – work together to meet your unique needs.
When you first hear you have cancer, you’ll have many questions. You may be unsure of the next steps, have worries about insurance and financial issues or feel alone in your situation.
At Lutheran Medical Center, we offer the services of a patient navigator who supports you, and often your family, as you learn more about your specific disease and how to navigate the journey ahead. Patient navigators may coordinate appointments between health care providers, answer questions and help link you to financial assistance if needed.
Cancer care specialists
Receiving your treatment at Lutheran Medical Center means that you have the services of an entire team of cancer professionals committed to delivering comprehensive, compassionate care focused on you as an individual. Every surgeon, physician, nurse and other medical professional with whom you come in contact will work to understand your unique needs and will do all they can to meet them. Your team may include:
- A surgeon - Once you’ve been diagnosed, you may see a surgeon, a doctor who specializes in performing operations to treat diseases.
- An oncologist – An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in cancer. Some may be known as medical oncologists, who treat cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy, some are surgical oncologists, who remove tumors and perform biopsies, and others are called radiation oncologists, who treat cancer with radiation therapy. Your oncologist will work with you to create a treatment plan. He or she usually acts as the coordinator of your cancer care.
- Cancer care nurses – Oncology nurses have special training in cancer and caring for patients during treatment. They will help carry out the treatment plan your oncologist creates and provide care, such as giving cancer medications, checking your progress and answering your questions about treatment. If you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, oncology nurses will monitor side effects and help you manage them.
- Social workers – Social workers may provide counsel to you and your family, help you understand your diagnosis and treatment and assist you and your family in finding support groups or other cancer-related services.
- Psychiatrists and psychologists – Psychiatrists and psychologists are specialists that can help if you have problems with depression or mental health. Cancer can be difficult for anyone to cope with, so make sure to seek help if necessary. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications such as antidepressants. Both specialists can help patients and families with counseling and other methods of managing depression and anxiety.
- Rehabilitation specialists – People with cancer sometimes need help recovering after treatment. Physical therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists and others can be helpful to many patients, depending on the type of cancer and treatment.
- Dietitians – Cancer and cancer treatment can make eating difficult. Some people lose weight, gain weight, or have trouble eating foods that provide the right energy. Registered dietitians help people maintain healthy eating habits during and after cancer treatment.
- Home health aides – Home health aides specialize in helping patients and family members manage tasks at home during treatment, and may help with everyday chores, such as cooking food or cleaning.
Other important specialists that may be involved in the treatment process include:
- Hematologists – Doctors who specialize in blood disorders.
- Radiologists – Doctors who specialize in diagnosing diseases by interpreting (reading) X-rays and other types of imaging tests.
- Genetic counselors – Specialists who help you explore whether your cancer has a genetic basis and guide you through genetic testing.
- Pathologists – Doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and classification of diseases by laboratory tests.
- Lab technicians, radiation technicians and pharmacists
As an non-profit healthcare organization, we are devoted to providing spiritual care and support to all we serve. We believe this support encourages hope and fosters both strength and healing. Our spiritual care team is happy to visit with you, offer prayers with you or on your behalf and provide other services as needed.
Learn more about our spiritual care offerings.