Anesthesiologists administer anesthesia (drugs that allow patients to sleep or not feel pain during surgical and medical procedures). This type of doctor helps ensure the safety of patients undergoing surgery.
Cardiologists specialize in treating heart-related issues. Patients with pericardial mesothelioma or those with prior or existing heart conditions may be referred to see a cardiologist for further treatment.
Dietitians are experts in human nutrition and diet. They are regulated health care professionals licensed to assess and treat nutritional issues, especially in patients battling medical conditions such as cancer. Be sure to see a dietitian or certified nutritionist. Non-certified nutritionists are not required to receive any formal training and may not provide patients with accurate dietary information.
Gastroenterologists specialize in the treatment of diseases of the stomach and liver. Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma may be sent to a gastroenterologist for further treatment.
General practitioners, also called primary care physicians, treat patients of all ages and with varying health conditions. They are often seen for annual check-ups and preventive medicine and will provide referrals to patients in need of a specialist.
General surgery is, in fact, a surgical specialty. General surgeons are trained to perform surgery for a number of common conditions and are responsible for patient care before, during, and after surgery.
Histopathologists, sometimes simply called pathologists, specialize in the study of diseased cells. Their primary role is to analyze biopsies and identify the type of mesothelioma cells present in tumor(s). Pathologists work with a cancer care team, but patients are unlikely to meet with them directly.
Medical oncologists are doctors who specialize in treating cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy. Patients work with an oncologist to determine their course of treatment.
Mental Health Professionals
Psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and counselors may also be part of a patient’s cancer care team. These health care professionals specialize in treating the emotional well-being of patients and their families.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice registered nurses. They are able to assess patient needs and help craft treatment plans.
Palliative Care Specialist
Palliative care specialists are doctors and nurses who help with patient pain management. They can also help patients and their families make important medical decisions and connect them with support resources.
Physician assistants (PAs) are health care professionals practicing medicine under a supervising physician. They are licensed to diagnose and treat patients.
Primary Care Physician
A primary care physician is a doctor who specializes in family or internal medicine. They are often a patient’s first point of contact when medical issues arise. As stated above, these can also be called general practitioners.
Pulmonologists specialize in treating lung and respiratory diseases. This type of doctor is often the first to diagnose pleural mesothelioma and can help pleural mesothelioma patients establish a pulmonary rehabilitation regimen of exercise, diet, and breathing techniques.
Radiation oncologists specialize in treating cancer with radiation therapy. If radiation is part of the treatment plan, the patient will work with a radiation oncologist to prepare, receive, and recover from radiation therapy.
Radiologists oversee the imaging tests used to diagnose mesothelioma, such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans. These tests are also used to help monitor the progress of treatment to see if the tumors are getting larger or smaller.
Occupational and physical therapists help you regain strength and skills after treatment or surgery. Respiratory therapists assist with breathing problems.
Surgical oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with surgery, specifically through surgical tumor resections (removals). If a patient and their doctor decide to pursue surgery as a course of treatment, the surgical oncologist is responsible for performing the surgery.
Thoracic surgeons are specialized surgeons who treat the organs of the chest, such as the lungs and heart. Thoracic surgeons who further specialize in treating the heart are also referred to as cardiothoracic surgeons. Patients with pleural mesothelioma typically receive diagnostic tests and treatment from thoracic surgeons.