Cancer Care Team
Fighting cancer is easier when you get help from a multidisciplinary team of health-care professionals. That’s why Owensboro Health gives you access to a broad range of cancer specialists dedicated to your success.
Your Oncology Team Members
Your doctors meet regularly at tumor conferences to evaluate your condition and use their combined expertise to develop an informed treatment plan tailored to you. They’re part of a team that may include:
- Medical Oncologist – Specializes in chemotherapy, biotherapy and other cancer medications
- Radiation Oncologist – Treats cancer with radiation therapy
- Cancer Surgeon – Removes tumors and performs biopsies
- Pathologist – Assesses whether a sample of your tissue contains cancer cells
- Plastic Surgeon – Helps restore your physical appearance after cancer treatment, especially mastectomy
- Clinical Pharmacist – Explains your medications and helps you manage them
- Oncology Certified Nurses – Care for you before, during and after treatment
- Certified Lymphedema Therapist – Manages swelling that may result from cancer or cancer treatment
- Genetic Counselor – Helps you and your family understand your inherited risk of cancer, coordinate genetic testing and determine what screenings and preventive techniques would benefit you
- Physical Therapist – Assists you in gaining strength, energy and mobility during or after treatment
- Registered Dietitian – Guides you in choosing nutritious, easy-to-eat foods
- Speech-Language Therapist – Teaches you how to communicate and swallow better, especially after cancer affecting your mouth or neck
Case Managers & Patient Navigators
Coordinate your cancer care with guidance from Owensboro Health’s case managers and patient navigators.
A case manager helps you identify and fulfill all your health care-related needs, such as:
- Obtaining home medical supplies
- Getting referrals to complementary services, including financial counseling and support groups
- Working with your insurance company
- A patient navigator simplifies your cancer care journey by:
- Helping you and your family understand your diagnosis and treatment options
- Facilitating communication with your care providers
- Scheduling appointments
- Connecting you with community resources
If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer or lung cancer, you’ll work with a patient navigator who specializes in your condition. No matter what type of cancer you have, you’ll see a case manager and may request a navigator’s assistance.
Read on to find out more about the following patient care roles.
Information from a patient’s cancer journey can provide valuable knowledge that can help cancer specialists determine the most effective treatments for newly diagnosed patients. Cancer registrars play a significant role in collecting important information that impacts cancer research and treatment programs.
Cancer registrars are responsible for collecting data such as a complete history, diagnosis, treatment and health status for every cancer patient. This data provides essential information to researchers, healthcare providers, and public health officials to better monitor and advance cancer treatments. It helps improve cancer prevention and screening programs as well as how to conduct research. All the data collected is analyzed and published without patient identifiers.
How the data is used
- Calculate cancer incidence
- Evaluate effectiveness of treatment modalities
- Determine survival rates
- Develop targeted educational and screening programs
Owensboro Health cancer registrars are certified by the National Cancer Registrars Association. They maintain credentials by fulfilling continuing education requirements.
Dosimetrists / Medical Physicists
Dosimetrists and medical physicists work with the Radiation oncologist to plan radiation treatments that treat cancer and other illnesses. They ensure optimal equipment performance by running/reviewing quality assurance checks daily, monthly and annually.
What do they do?
- Design computerized treatment plans
- Calculate radiation dose, location and energy level of the beam according to the radiation oncologists prescription
- Ensure safe and effective use of radiation in compliance with the state and federal regulations and standards established by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)
- Run quality assurance checks on all the treatment plans developed for patients.
Owensboro Health medical dosimetrists are certified by the Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board, while the medical physicists are certified by the American Board of Radiology. Both maintain credentials by fulfilling continuing education requirements.
Patient Registration Representatives
The patient registration representatives are some of the first people you will encounter in Radiation Oncology. They initially schedule your appointments with the healthcare team after you are referred. They will acquire all the necessary records for the healthcare team prior to your visit to ensure excellent patient care is being achieved.
Upon arrival at the Cancer Center the patient registration representatives will verify your insurance information and direct you to the appropriate waiting areas for your appointment type.
How do they help?
- Teach patients how to use the self-check kiosk
- Answer all phone calls and transfer them to the appropriate locations
- Make follow-up appointments to see radiation oncologists after treatments are completed
- Print After Visit Summaries
- Help patients register for MyChart
Radiation Oncology Nurses
Radiation Oncology nurses are registered nurses with radiation specific clinical knowledge, as well as chemotherapy/biotherapy and surgical approaches for cancer care. They work closely with the healthcare team to ensure that patient needs are met while under the care of the radiation oncologists.
What do they do?
- Review patient education materials regarding radiation therapy
- Do routine skin assessments if applicable
- Answer questions regarding care and side effects
- Provide a large range of services for distress treatment and help with practical matters
- Make referrals to other experts as ordered by physicians
- Keep current on chemotherapy/biotherapy and surgical approaches for cancer treatments
- Educate patients and families for procedures
The radiation oncology nursing staff all have bachelor degrees and are licensed by the Kentucky Board of Nursing and maintain credentials by fulfilling continuing education requirements. Eligible nursing staff also maintains oncology certification (OCN). They have over 70 years of experience in the field of nursing.