A mesothelioma doctor may be recognized as a specialist that deals with mesothelioma cancer patients but during your treatment program you will be exposed to a team of doctors each specializing in a different field.
A cancer care team, not just one mesothelioma doctor usually is comprised but not limited to the following type of doctors who practice medicine in the following areas:
- General Practitioner – Your first point of contact, a medical doctor who provides primary care. Usually your family physician who treats acute and chronic illnesses, provides preventive care and health education.
- Pulmonologist – An internal medicine doctor who has specialized knowledge and skill in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary (lung) conditions and diseases.
- Thoracic Surgeon – A doctor specializing in surgical treatment of diseases of the chest including coronary artery disease; cancers of the lung, esophagus, and chest wall.
- Medical Oncologist – Doctors who who study, diagnose, and treat cancerous tumors. They practice in hospitals and medical centers, university hospitals, and research organizations.
- Radiation Oncologist – A doctor who specializes in the treatment of cancer patients, using radiation as the main form of treatment as opposed to a medical oncologist who uses chemotherapy as the preferred form of treatment.
- Radiologist – Doctors who specialize in diagnosing disease by obtaining and interpreting medical images obtained by using x rays, radioactive substances, sound waves, or other techniques.
- Pathologist – a doctor who specializes in diagnosing diseases by examining tissue, blood, and body fluids. Other doctors consult pathologists to assist in the diagnosis of the type of cancer affecting their patients, then treatment can be tailored to the identified disease.
- Respiratory Therapist – Specializes in caring for people with breathing difficulties. They help to monitor, evaluate and treat individuals with respiratory and cardio-respiratory disorders
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, finding that mesothelioma doctor and treatment facility for your cancer care is an important step to getting the best treatment possible. The health care system is complex, resources are available to research mesothelioma doctors, getting a second opinion, and choosing a cancer treatment center. Below are suggestions and information resources to help you with these important decisions.
One way to find a mesothelioma doctor who specializes in lung cancer care is to ask for a referral from your primary care physician. You may know a specialist yourself, or through the experience of a family member, coworker, or friend.
The following resources may also be able to provide you with names of doctors who specialize in treating specific diseases or conditions. However, these resources may not have information about the quality of care that the doctors provide.
Your local hospital or its patient referral service may be able to provide you with a list of specialists who practice at that hospital.
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has a list of mesothelioma doctors who have met certain education and training requirements and have passed specialty examinations. The Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists lists doctors’ names along with their specialty and their educational background. The directory is available in most public libraries, click on “Who’s Certified”. http://www.abms.org
The American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Select database provides basic information on licensed physicians in the United States. Users can search for physicians by name or by medical specialty.
The American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) provides an online list of doctors who are members of ASCO. The member database has the names and affiliations of over 15,000 oncologists worldwide. It can be searched by doctor’s name, institution’s name, location, and/or type of board certification.
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Membership Database is an online list of surgeons who are members of the ACS. The list can be searched by doctor’s name, geographic location, or medical specialty.
Public and medical libraries may have print directories of doctor names, listed geographically by specialty.
Your local Yellow Pages or Yellow Book may have doctors listed by specialty under “Physicians.”
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) offers Your Guide to Choosing Quality Health Care, which has information for consumers on choosing a health plan, a doctor, a hospital, or a long-term care provider. The Guide includes suggestions and checklists that you can use to determine which doctor or hospital is best for you.