Primary care providers and cancer treatment
During cancer treatment, a diverse team collaborates to ensure you receive comprehensive care for your body, mind and spirit. While clinicians with specialized knowledge in treating cancer, such as a radiation oncologist or hematologist, are vital parts of your team, a foundational role also includes your primary care provider (PCP).
An initial point of contact, your PCP is familiar with your health and can evaluate your symptoms, help coordinate care and work with you to make decisions that meet your specific needs.
This is especially important following cancer treatment, when your PCP becomes fundamental to a seamless continuity of care. He or she will oversee and treat any infections, injuries, immune system problems, medications and lifestyle changes that may be unrelated to your cancer. For example, patients who stop seeing their PCP for routine care during or after cancer treatment may find they have developed a preventable illness, whether it is a simple bacterial infection or life-threatening disease.
Close communication with your PCP—someone who understands your health history, lifestyle, risk factors and more—throughout your cancer journey and beyond will help catch potential changes in your health and address them early.