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Background Image: A large mural of iris decorate a set of doors at the Samaritan Pastega Regional Cancer Center in Corvallis, Oregon.

The Oncology Team

There are typically two types of doctors in cancer care: medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. Working alongside our physicians you’ll find a skilled team of therapists, nurses, dosimetrists, medical social workers, physicists, dietitians and hospital chaplains and others provide uncompromising care, individualized for each patient.

Medical Oncologists

Medical oncologists specialize in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and biological therapy. A medical oncologist often is the main health care provider for someone who has cancer. A medical oncologist also gives supportive care and may coordinate treatment given by other specialists. The medical oncologist educates patients about their illness and the treatments options. They explain the details of chemotherapy regimens, potential side effects and any long-term ill effect that any medicine may have.

Radiation Oncologists

Radiation oncologists are the doctors who will oversee your radiation therapy treatments. They work with the other members of the radiation therapy team to develop your treatment plan and ensure that each treatment is given accurately. Your radiation oncologist will also monitor your progress and adjust the treatment as necessary to make sure the radiation is hitting its target while minimizing side effects. Before, during and after your radiation therapy treatments, your radiation oncologist works closely with other cancer doctors, such as medical oncologists and surgeons, to maximize the radiation’s effectiveness.

Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants work together with medical hematologists and oncologists to provide your care. These providers perform cancer screenings and examinations, participate in diagnosing, treatment and planning, and also help coordinate patient care. They are helpful in supportive care and patient education for illness and treatment options, which may include chemotherapy, hormonal and biologic therapies. They provide patient education regarding chemotherapy regimens, potential side effects and possible long-term effects of medications. They help monitor patients during these therapies as well as write prescriptions and chemotherapy orders.