Who is On Your Lymphoma Care Team?
After a lymphoma diagnosis, you might be wondering who will provide the treatments that you’ll need. The primary person you’ll see will be a hematologist. Many hematologists are also medical oncologists treating not only blood conditions but cancers of the blood and other types of cancer. This is called a hematologic oncologist.
Typically, a hematologic oncologist serves in the lead role for lymphoma treatment, communicating regularly with the other specialists on your care team.
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers has experienced lymphoma specialists focused on getting you the best results possible. Under their guidance, you will get the attention and support you need during your cancer treatment journey. Additionally, there are several other important people on the care team who will guide you through your lymphoma treatment.
Your Lymphoma Treatment Team
Your lymphoma treatment team will likely include the following lymphoma specialists:
The radiation oncologist is experienced in the use of therapeutic radiation to treat lymphoma. Receiving external radiation treatment for lymphoma may be part of your recommended treatment plan. The initial area of concern is often the target of radiation therapy as well as any distant area where lymphoma may have developed in the body.
Advanced Practice Providers (APPs)
Advanced practice providers are nurse practitioners (NP) or physician associates (PA) who work with the oncologists to provide care, education about treatments, and help with side effect management. On some visits, you might see only the APP. While they are not your doctor, they are a very important part of your team, acting as the primary point of contact for many of the members of your cancer care team. Feel free to tell them everything you would tell your hematologic oncologist.
Additional Team Members Who Work with Lymphoma Patients
In addition to the team members listed above, other important team members who are involved in the care of lymphoma patients include:
- Triage nurses: These nurses work with the medical oncologist and the APPs. They help with many facets of your treatment including keeping your treatment plan on track, side effect management, and determining whether you need urgent or emergent medical care. They also provide support for questions about side effects, patient and family concerns, and prescriptions.
- Infusion nurses: These nurses are in the infusion room and administer chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy according to the treatment plan. They are with the patients in the cancer center throughout their treatments and can help you manage side effects that come up.
- Radiation therapists: These team members help you get in the proper position for each radiation therapy session, help with administering the radiation treatments, and help address any side effects.
- Social workers: Oncology social workers can help patients with the day-to-day challenges they may face with their mental and emotional health during cancer treatment. They are able to provide resources that can assist in the ways you need them most. Contact our social work team to sign up for our supportive care groups.
- Patient financial counselors: Patient financial counselors offer assistance navigating financial resources and setting up payment plans.
- Schedulers/Assistants: Schedulers and assistants set up appointments and provide other clerical support. They are an important part of assisting the rest of the team in providing you with optimal supportive care.
- Dietitian or nutritionist: A specialist trained to advise people on what to eat to meet their dietary needs. Depending on your cancer care needs, you may have access to a Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers nutritionist who will help guide you in making healthy lifestyle choices during and after your treatment.
Is Getting a Second Opinion Necessary?
If you’re curious about getting a second opinion that means you should probably do it. Choosing the right treatment team means feeling comfortable with them and their facilities. Whether you started with RMCC or you’d like to get a second opinion from an RMCC hematologic oncologist, this is very common and accepted by medical professionals.
In fact, most health insurance providers will cover the cost of the second opinion visit. To verify that your second opinion appointment is covered, talk to your insurer before booking.
Finding a Lymphoma Specialist in Colorado
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers is a leading lymphoma treatment team with locations throughout Colorado. We respect our patients and their personal preferences during the treatment process. Our patients should understand that we see you — you are important to us and we want to ensure your needs are met through receiving an individualized care plan that includes the most advanced options available. If you would like a second opinion regarding other treatment options or care team support, we are happy to provide that for you.