Step Three: Understanding the Roles of Your Medical Team

When it comes to finding the leading medical experts and resources for your doctors and medical team for the best care, there are many crucial factors to consider.

Since treatment of pancreatic cancer can be extremely complex, it is most important to seek out medical experts who are specialized in the field of Pancreatic Cancer and gastroenterology.

Finding Your Medical Care Team: We Can Help

Diagnosis and treatment can be challenging and emotional. In addition to finding a team of medical experts in a first-class facility, finding mental health, nutrition or pain specialists that you trust and with whom you feel comfortable is key. 

Our team will work with you to determine the best fit for you and your needs, and will quickly make a direct connection with the doctors and care providers to get the process started immediately. Call us at 773.989.1108 or email us. 

There are many individuals that make up your medical care team.

Understanding their roles and responsibilities empowers you and your family to know who to turn to for answers to your questions. Be sure to keep a list with the contact information for everyone on your team readily available for easy access.

Gastroenterologists are doctors who specialize in the function and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the stomach, the intestines, the pancreas, and other associated organs. Patients often receive initial care from gastroenterologists when symptoms manifest. Gastroenterologists perform exams such as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and an Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) .

Medical Oncologist
Oncologists are doctors in internal medicine who specialize in cancer and cancer therapies (such as chemotherapy).

Nurse or Nurse Practitioner
Nurses assist in carrying out the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor. Nurse practitioners have advanced training and education that allows them to perform physical exams, diagnose certain ailments, order tests and treatments, and prescribe medications.

Pain Specialist
Pain specialists work closely with oncologists to diagnose and treat pain. Pain medicine, as a broad term, encompasses anesthesiologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, and specially trained psychiatrists.

Pathologists are physicians who work in laboratories to identify diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope. Their work is an integral part of accurately diagnosing cases of Pancreatic Cancer.

Psychiatrist / Psychologist
Psychiatrists are doctors who provide patients psychological counseling and, if necessary, can prescribe medication. Psychologists also treat patients through therapy and counseling sessions, but are not able to prescribe medications.

Radiologists are sub-specialist oncologists who help determine the course of radiation therapy a patient may use as a part of their treatment.

Registered Dietitian
Pancreatic cancer patients generally have to make changes to their diets during treatment, and especially following surgery. Dietitians help guide patients to the types of food that will nourish them with the appropriate calories, vitamins, fats, and protein that their bodies require. 

Surgeons are physicians with advanced training who perform operations; surgeries for Pancreatic Cancer may include the Whipple procedure or biliary bypass surgery.

Next: Evaluate Treatment Options

Go To Step Four