At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, we surround you with experts who focus completely on cancer care. A handful of people make up the core of your care team. You will have one or more oncologists who specialize in medicine-based treatments, radiation therapy or surgery for bladder cancer and other urinary tract cancers. At some visits, you will see an advanced practice provider who works closely with your physician. A patient care coordinator will schedule your visits.
Others join your team based on your personal needs. For example, if you need to have your bladder removed, your surgeon will make a new path for urine to leave your body. Sometimes this means making an opening (stoma) in your abdomen so urine can drain. We have a registered nurse with special training (stomal therapist) who will teach you how to take care of your stoma and help prevent or solve any issues that might arise.
Supportive care providers are also here to help. You may see Fred Hutch dietitians, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, genetic counselors, financial experts and others. All of them specialize in caring for and supporting people during and after cancer.
These health care professionals work closely with your doctor in the clinic. There are two types: physician assistants (PAs) and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs). They help provide and coordinate your treatment and can see you without your physician. They also help manage the effects of your disease and treatment.
Infusion nurses are registered nurses (RN) who specialize in giving patients intravenous (IV) medications and therapies, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy and antibiotic infusions. They also check on patients during infusions, help keep patients comfortable and can respond to any issues that may come up.
This physician oversees your medicine-based treatments, like chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy.
Your medical oncologist:
They work closely with you and your physician to plan your appointments and coordinate your care. Navigators also help you understand our system, including where and how to get the care you need. They can help with answering your questions and addressing any concerns that come up.
Your patient care coordinator works closely with you and your physician. They will schedule your appointments.
This physician treats cancer with radiation. They prescribe and manage this part of your care if you need it. Working with a radiation oncology team, they plan and deliver your treatments.
Your radiation oncologist:
This specialist positions you each time you come in for radiation treatment. This makes sure that your treatment goes to the right places on your body. They also operate the machines that deliver the radiation.
Your nurses manage your care with your doctors. They also help with procedures and treatments. Nurses are resources for you and your caregiver. They answer questions and help with a wide range of topics, like how to cope with side effects or get other services you need at Fred Hutch.
Many types of supportive care team members are here to help you and your family. They include dietitians, physical therapists, pain medicine specialists, psychologists, social workers, spiritual health staff, palliative care specialists, naturopaths and acupuncturists.
Learn more about Supportive Care Services
This physician does surgery to remove as much of your cancer as possible, along with a margin of healthy tissue around the cancer. In some cases, this means removing your bladder and possibly nearby organs.
Your urologic oncologist: