Caring for those with cancer involves a coordinated team of nurses, social workers, dietitians, statisticians, therapists, chaplains and rehabilitation specialists—all led by board-certified oncologists. At Mount Nittany Health, everyone on your team specializes in cancer care that revolves around you.
It may be hard to see the big picture of how all these healthcare professionals work together to offer you the highest quality of service, but we can help you understand this unfamiliar landscape.
Primary care physicians play a significant role in cancer care, working with you to interpret signs and symptoms of your disease and ordering appropriate lab work to make the proper diagnosis.
Pathologists, experts in the area of cells and tissues, and radiologists, those who interpret X-rays, utilize state-of-the-art methods to diagnose cancer.
Oncologists are board-certified and specialize in type-specific cancer treatments. There are three major types of oncologists:
- Medical oncologists specialize in the administration of chemotherapy, which is usually handled by specially trained nurses in an outpatient setting.
- Radiation oncologists administer different types of radiation therapy, such as internal or external therapy, depending on the treatment options available to you and recommended by your oncology team.
- Oncology surgeons join your oncology team if surgery is required and utilize the latest surgical methods to treat cancer.
Oncology nurses and therapists work closely with physicians and are experts in the field of cancer care. They are available to answer your questions and provide physical, emotional and educational support to you and your loved ones.
Cancer Care Navigators are resources for cancer services within the community. Mount Nittany Medical Center's Care Navigators are available to discuss any of your needs, including insurance/financial assistance, transportation help and patient and caregiver support. Our Care Navigators can also help coordinate your care and treatment by communicating with members of your medical team.
Social workers work with you to prepare you and your caregivers for the transition from inpatient hospital stays to at-home living.
Clinical dietitians understand how important nutrition is to your total care and the unique challenges that a person with cancer faces when it comes to healthy eating. Often, side effects of treatment can interfere with appetite or the ability to chew or taste. Our dietitians provide nutritional support and counseling to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need to support your recovery.
Chaplains are available to assist you, your family and loved ones and your caregivers with any spiritual needs during the time of diagnosis and treatment.
Your oncology team may also suggest other resources to assist in your treatment and recovery, such as our Rehabilitation Services team to assist you with greater mobility, strength and endurance, or the outpatient Pain Management Program to help you deal with pain associated with your specific health situation.
At the core of bringing the best in cancer care to each patient is the dedication of each team member to continuing medical education. From videoconferencing "Grand Rounds" led by leading cancer researchers to instant access to cancer registry data, each staff member keeps abreast of the latest in cancer diagnosis and treatment, bringing a world of knowledge in cancer care to residents in Central Pennsylvania.