Understanding the Genomics and Genetics of Cancer

Meet Your Team

Diagnosing and treating cancer requires the expertise of many uniquely skilled and dedicated professionals. They will perform a variety of valuable tasks, from testing and treating to educating and comforting. Though your team members may vary depending on the type of cancer you have and the facility at which you receive care, the following specialists will likely be included.

Case managers and social workers are your personal advocates, acting on your behalf by collaborating with health care professionals and non-medical personnel to help overcome various barriers to care.

Financial counselors address cancer-related financial concerns, such as questions about your insurance policy and out-of-pocket expenses, so you can feel more in control and less anxious.

Genetic counselors help explain your genetic testing results, which may be difficult to interpret. Understanding how the results can guide treatment may help you make important decisions.

Genomic/molecular pathologists study tissue and blood samples on a molecular level to provide information about the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis for certain conditions, including some types of cancer.

Medical oncologists treat cancer patients using drug therapies. Your oncologist will manage your course of treatment.

Nurse navigators collaborate with your health care team from diagnosis through survivorship and will be the resource who knows you the best.

Oncology nurses may be registered nurses, clinical nurse specialists, advanced practice nurses, radiation therapists, chemotherapy nurses, oncology social workers, case managers, educators or consultants.

Pathologists identify diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope. They may also be known as genomic or molecular pathologists.

Pharmacists prepare and dispense prescriptions, ensure medicines and doses are correct, and prevent harmful drug interactions.

Radiation oncologists use radiation therapy to treat and reduce the symptoms of cancer.

Radiologists create and interpret pictures of areas inside the body that are made with X-rays, sound waves or other types of energy.

Surgical oncologists use surgery to remove tumors or repair a part of the body affected by cancer.