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A neurologist is a physician who treats diseases and disorders of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves, and often, the side effects that may result.
An anesthesiologist is a physician who specializes in administering medications or other agents that cause insensibility to pain. Anesthesiologists will administer anesthesia and monitor patients before, during, and after surgery or other procedures. Pain management is a subspecialty of anesthesiology.
A breast surgeon is a physician who specializes in performing surgical procedures to biopsy and remove tumors in the breast. Breast surgeons commonly perform lumpectomy and mastectomy procedures. Breast conservation surgery, including lumpectomies or partial mastectomies, and breast reconstruction procedures may also be performed by breast surgeons.
An cardiologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the heart and blood vessels.
A critical care provider, also known as an intensivist, is a physician who has special training in caring for intensive care patients.
An endocrinologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating hormone diseases and disorders. This can include diabetes, thyroid disorders, hypoglycemia and Addison's disease.
A family practice physician provides comprehensive medical care for individuals and families. The scope of family practice encompasses all ages and disease entities.
A gastroenterologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI), or digestive, system. This includes the stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), rectum and other related structures such as the esophagus, pancreas, liver and gallbladder.
General surgeons perform a variety of surgical procedures. These physicians receive residency training in performing surgery on the digestive tract; abdomen; head and neck; breast, skin and soft tissue; and vascular system. They also perform critical care and emergency surgery, as well as solid organ transplantation.
A clinical geneticist is a physician or genetic counselor who specializes in medical problems that have a genetic basis, focusing on the cause, diagnosis, treatment and counseling for these conditions.
A gynecologic oncologist is an obstetrician/gynecologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancers of the female reproductive organs. This includes the ovaries, endometrium, uterus, cervix, fallopian tube, peritoneal, vagina and vulva.
A hematologic oncologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating blood cancers and blood-related disorders, including leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, anemia, clotting disorders, hemophilia and sickle cell disease.
A hospitalist is typically an internist or family practitioner who specializes in providing medical treatment to individuals while they are in the hospital. Hospitalists work with other physicians to manage and coordinate inpatient care from admission through discharge.
An intake physician helps manage and coordinate care for new patients. In our hospitals, intake physicians provide initial evaluation and care. They determine the diagnostic imaging and laboratory tests new patients need, and they make recommendations for further evaluation and treatment from our medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists or other physicians.
An emergency physician cares for patients with acute illnesses or injuries which require immediate medical attention. Emergency medicine involves the immediate recognition, evaluation, care and stabilization of patients in response to acute illness and injury.
An internist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating general medical disorders. Internal medicine is a broad-based medical field. Internists treat a wide range of medical problems, such as diabetes, infections, and cancer, as well as diseases affecting the heart, blood, kidneys, joints, digestive, respiratory and vascular systems.
An interventional pulmonologist is a pulmonologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the lungs and respiratory system, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma and cancer. Specifically, interventional pulmonologists perform interventional procedures in the airways and chest cavity, including advanced bronchoscopic and pleuroscopic techniques.
An interventional radiologist is a radiologist who specializes in using image guidance to guide catheters and other minimally invasive instruments through tiny incisions in the skin to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions without surgery.
A medical oncologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer with medicine, including chemotherapy and other drugs, such as biological and hormonal therapy. A medical oncologist is often the lead member of a patient’s health care team, and manages the patient’s course of treatment. A medical oncologist may help design treatment plans and coordinate treatment with other specialists, such as surgeons and radiologists.
A medical physicist is an individual who specializes in medical physics, or the application of physics to the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Medical physicists collaborate with radiation oncologists to help design treatment plans, monitor equipment and procedures to assure radiation safety, and develop improved imaging techniques. The subfields of medical physics include therapeutic radiological physics, diagnostic radiological physics, medical nuclear physics or medical health physics.
A nephrologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the kidneys and kidney function. This can include renal failure, kidney stones and hypertension.
A neurosurgeon is a physician who specializes in performing surgical procedures on parts of the nervous system, such as the brain and spinal cord. Brain and spinal cord tumors are among the conditions neurosurgeons treat. Neurosurgeons also perform spinal surgery.
A nurse practitioner (also referred to as a “NP”) is a licensed healthcare provider who works under the supervision of a physician. These clinicians have obtained masters’ degrees in nursing and are certified to practice in partnership with a physician.
NPs at Cancer Treatment Centers of America are trained in oncology. They have extensive experience in providing education about cancer and cancer treatments at a level patients fully understand. NPs are able to: Conduct physical exams; manage cancer symptoms and treat side effects; order and interpret test results; write prescriptions, including for chemotherapy and other cancer-related treatments; counsel on preventative healthcare; exercise autonomy in decision making; provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services; and contribute to clinical education and research initiatives.
An orthopedic oncologist is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in diagnosing and treating malignant disorders of the musculoskeletal system, including bone and soft tissue sarcomas. Orthopedic oncologists have received formal, advanced training, which includes a fellowship following a residency. Because of the rarity of primary bone tumors, there are a limited number of orthopedic oncologists in the country.
An otolaryngologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the ears, nose and throat (ENT). Otolaryngologists, or ENT doctors, at Cancer Treatment Centers of America help treat patients who have head and neck cancer. They perform surgical procedures such as laryngectomies, neck dissections, thyroidectomies/parathyroidectomies, parotidectomies, sinonasal tumor excisions, endoscopic sinus surgery and other ENT and head/neck surgeries.
A palliative medicine clinician focuses on helping cancer patients find relief from pain, stress and other symptoms related to their disease and to improve their quality of life.
A pathologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and classifying diseases by using laboratory tests, including the microscopic examination of tissues, cells and body fluids. A pathologist determines whether a tumor is benign or cancerous. If cancerous, a pathologist determines the exact cell type and grade of the tumor.
A physician assistant (also referred to as a “PA”) is a licensed healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a physician. The education of a PA includes an undergraduate degree, followed by intensive medical programs that prepare him or her to work alongside a physician. PAs are taught in a similar manner to medical students to both diagnose and treat medical problems in order to prepare them to offer an extension of a physician’s care. PAs are certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. The credentials that follow their names (“PA-C”) indicate their certification credentials.
PAs are able to: Conduct physical exams; diagnose and treat illnesses; order and interpret tests; write prescriptions; counsel on preventive healthcare; exercise autonomy in decision making; provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services; assist in surgery; and be involved in education, research and administrative services.
A plastic/reconstructive surgeon is a physician who specializes in repairing, reconstructing, or restoring physical defects involving different parts of the body. A plastic/reconstructive surgeon may help improve appearance, reduce scarring/disfigurement, or rebuild/replace removed or injured body parts that may occur as a result of cancer and its treatment.
A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Psychiatrists are licensed to prescribe medication to treat mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, some psychiatrists provide counseling/psychotherapy, or refer patients to other mental health clinicians who offer counseling services.
A pulmonologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating lung and respiratory diseases and conditions. Pulmonologists commonly treat pneumonia, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), tuberculosis, asthma and pulmonary hypertension. Additionally, some pulmonologists provide critical care medicine, treating patients in a hospital’s intensive care unit.
A radiation oncologist is a physician who specializes in treating cancer using radiation therapy, including high-energy radiation and/or radioactive substances. A radiation oncologist will determine the precise type, dose and placement of radiation, administer the radiation, and monitor the number and length of treatments. Radiation therapy may come from a machine outside the body (external radiation) or from radioactive material placed directly into or near a tumor (internal radiation).
A radiologist is a physician who specializes in obtaining and interpreting medical images of areas inside the body, using X-rays and other imaging techniques, to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries.
A stem cell transplant physician is hematologist and/or medical oncologist who specializes in treating hematologic cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. He or she performs autologous and/or allogeneic stem cell transplants.
A surgical oncologist is a surgeon who specializes in performing surgical procedures to diagnose, stage, and treat cancer and/or to relieve symptoms. Surgical oncologists perform biopsies, resections, reconstructive surgeries, palliative surgeries and more.
A thoracic surgeon is a physician who specializes in performing surgical procedures on organs in the chest, such as the lungs, heart and esophagus. A surgeon who focuses primarily on heart and lung surgeries may also be known as a cardiothoracic surgeon.
An urologist is a physician who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract in males and females, as well as the male reproductive organs. Also known as urologic surgeons, urologists undergo specialized surgical training. Urologists can perform surgeries to remove the prostate gland (prostatectomy), kidney (nephrectomy) and bladder (cystectomy).
An acupuncturist is a healthcare professional who is qualified in the practice of acupuncture, a form of ancient Chinese medicine in which fine, sterile needles are applied to specific areas of the body, or acupoints, to stimulate energy flow (or “chi”). Acupuncture is primarily used to control pain and relieve symptoms of disease, but not to cure the disease itself.
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) involves the use of a trained therapy animal to boost a person's physical and emotional well-being. AAT is the planned inclusion of an animal in a treatment plan, while animal-assisted activities (AAA) incorporates animals into recreational programs and special visits. In many cases, the animal-assisted therapist will also be a licensed healthcare professional, such as a medical practitioner, psychologist, social worker, or occupational or physical therapist. Other times, the animal-assisted therapy professional will work with licensed healthcare practitioners to incorporate AAT into a treatment program.
A chiropractor is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal health problems, including back pain, neck problems and headaches. Chiropractors apply small adjustments to the spine to treat and alleviate pain, without use of drugs or surgical treatment.
Genetic counselors are specially-trained health professionals who counsel individuals about their genetic risk and the implications of genetic testing. They typically discuss an individual's personal and/or family history of cancer, prepare a family tree (also known as a pedigree), and analyze the pattern of cancer in the individual's family.
Massage therapists use a form of touch therapy to help patients restore a sense of harmony, relaxation and well-being. As a part of the oncology rehabilitation team, massage therapists apply various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the human body to reduce stress and fatigue, and improve circulation.
A mind-body therapist works in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), also called mind-body medicine, which explores the relationship between the mind and the body. Mind-body therapists provide a range of different therapies to improve emotional/psychological health. This includes relaxation and guided imagery training, stress management, laughter therapy, energy therapies, psychological counseling and more.
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of health care and is an important part of integrative care provided at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). Naturopathic medicine focuses on the safe and effective use of evidence-based natural therapies to help patients manage side effects, improve quality of life, and support wellness.
The scope of naturopathic medicine includes clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, classical Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy and manipulative therapy.
Our team at CTCA have completed a four-year, doctoral-level program. These professionals have received extensive training in naturopathic medicine, as well as basic biomedical and clinical sciences. They have studied the causes of diseases, assessment, diagnosis and treatment with naturopathic medicine.
A dietitian/nutritionist is an individual who specializes in nutritional care. A dietitian/nutritionist evaluates an individual's nutritional status and makes recommendations for staying nourished with healthful foods and a well-balanced diet. Nutrition therapy may involve intravenous (parenteral nutrition) or tube feeding (enteral nutrition). Oncology nutritionists provide nutrition therapy alongside conventional cancer treatments to help support immune function, improve strength, increase energy, preserve lean body cell mass, rebuild body tissue, decrease risk of infection and more.
An oncology rehabilitation therapist is a health care professional who specializes in helping cancer patients recover and return to daily life by evaluating and treating physical impairments. Some examples of oncology rehabilitation therapists include physical therapists (who use exercises and other methods to restore physical strength, mobility and function), occupational therapists (who help with performance of daily activities), speech and language pathologists (who help with eating, drinking and speaking) and manual therapists (who provide massage therapy and other techniques). Oncology rehabilitation therapists provide therapies alongside conventional cancer treatments to help individuals maintain strength, energy, physical independence and improve their quality of life.
Pain management specialists are health care professionals, such as physicians and/or nurses, who specialize in evaluating, treating and managing acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) pain. Pain management specialists may use a combination of pain control methods, including pharmacological approaches (which involve the use analgesics and/or other drugs) and non-pharmacological approaches (which employ therapies like behavioral, neurological or psychological interventions) to improve quality of life.
Known as an energy therapy, Reiki therapy is a Japanese healing art that can help promote relaxation and reduce stress and tension. Reiki therapy involves balancing energy by placing hands on or near the body. This gentle, hands-on practice may help to balance the body’s energy, strengthen its ability to heal, reduce stress, reduce physical discomfort and increase feelings of well-being.
A spiritual support provider is an individual who offers support through spiritual practices, including faith, religion, a sense of purpose and/or beliefs about the meaning of life. Pastors or clergy members are available to offer support during cancer treatment to help improve a patient's psychological outlook, emotional health and quality of life.
A survivorship support provider helps patients maintain their health and improve their quality of life once their hospital treatment is complete. Cancer survivors often deal with chronic health problems that may be related to their cancer treatment, and the survivorship support team helps patients and their caregivers plan for those risks.
Medical professionals in the Quality of Life field dedicate their time to helping cancer patients manage the side effects of the disease and its treatment, maintain strength and improve their quality of life.
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