Which health professionals can I see?

You’ll meet lots of different health professionals on your cancer journey. Here are the ones you’re most likely to meet, and what they do.

Who they are What they do
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health practitioner
  • understands culture and mob
  • culturally safe clinical care services
  • health assessments
  • health education 
  • help doctors better understand 
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker
  • understands culture and mob
  • support and answers questions 
  • can act as communicator for both the medical team and our mob
  • provide cultural education to the health team
  • have input into planning and working closely with our mob for the best possible holistic outcomes
Aboriginal Liaison Officer
  • understands culture and beliefs
  • can offer support, and talk with other members of your treatment team
  • provide emotional, social and cultural help for our patients and families
  • help you yarn with health professionals
  • help you understand about the medical procedures and other things that may be happening to you
  • help you with the admission and going home process
General practitioner (GP) 
  • your local doctor who provides ongoing care
  • will be able to help other doctors understand your medical history.
  • provides advice on healthy eating to manage medical conditions and improve your overall health.
Exercise physiologist
  • provides advice on exercises and plans to improve and maintain your fitness and physical health.
  • assesses and treats common conditions and can coordinate your healthcare.
Occupational therapist
  • helps adapt your home or work to help you get back to what you used to do
  • help you with independence which is so important for our mobs.
Medical Oncologist
  • doctor who treats people with cancer 
  • form part of your team and will support you with dealing with other health professionals.
  • help you make decisions about your treatment and ongoing care
Oncology nurse
  • nurse who specialises in caring for people with cancer
  • will care for you during and after your treatment, and may help to deliver some treatments
  • help with looking at you as a whole and not just looking at the cancer.
Palliative care specialist
  • doctor who specialises in managing symptoms of advanced cancer such as pain
  • can make sure your physical, practical, emotional and spiritual needs are met
  • help you make decisions about your treatment and ongoing care.
  • provides health information
  • sells and advises on medications.
  • helps you with physical problems after cancer treatment, such as improving your walking or your strength.
  • help your emotional and mental health needs by providing you counselling and specific therapies.
Radiation oncologist
  • doctor who specialises in radiotherapy.
  • doctor who looks at scans and x-rays to diagnose and stage the disease
  • Can take out a small part of the tumour using a needle for a biopsy 
Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) worker
  • Social and emotional wellbeing is important for our health outcomes – it covers all health, connection to land, Country, culture, spirituality, family and community.
  • helps people with issues that impact everyday living and families.
Social worker
  • links people with cancer and their carers to support services and helps with emotional, practical or financial issues.
  • doctor who has done many years of training to focus on one area of health
  • these fellas are highly skilled in that area of medicine.
  • removes all of the tumour, or as much of the tumour as possible, or part of the tumour in a procedure called a biopsy
  • investigates the size of the tumour and if the cancer has spread. This process is called staging and is often used to guide treatment decisions.


Life with and after cancer


Where can I get help and support?