Your Care Team
Sentara was the first healthcare system in Virginia to earn accreditation as an Integrated Network Cancer Program from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The multidisciplinary Commission sets stringent quality and comprehensive care standards and measurers its members' success to improve patient outcomes. We have also been awarded accreditation as an Integrated Network Cancer Program from the American College of Radiology. This gold-standard recognition reflects our commitment to providing safe, quality medical imaging services.
Our cancer experts lead the search for new ways to treat cancer. Together, we ensure you get the right care and support for all your needs. Learn more about the Sentara Health Research Center.
Having the right team in place makes all the difference. Count on your care team for everything you need during and after treatment. Your team includes:
Our tumor boards bring together specialists from a variety of disciplines who meet to discuss the best ways to care for your cancer. The goal with this team approach is individualized treatment for every patient. Our experts continue to work tirelessly to expand our knowledge base and applications of molecular testing, immunotherapy and other targeted therapies in order to help you.
Each member of our cancer physician team specializes in designing and delivering personalized cancer treatments. Physicians that may be part of your care team include:
- Medical oncologist: A specialist who uses oral or intravenous medicines (systemic therapies) to treat cancer. These drugs include:
- Hormone therapy
- Targeted therapy
- Pathologists: A physician who examines tissue, cell and fluid samples under a microscope to diagnose and stage cancer.
- Radiologists: Our radiologists recommend appropriate imaging to help identify your cancer and provide image-guided biopsies and cancer treatments.
- Radiation oncologist: A doctor who treats cancer using radiation therapies.
- Surgical oncologist: A specialist who uses surgery to perform biopsies and remove cancer.
Our oncology nurses receive special training in providing care to people with cancer. Your oncology nurse delivers medication intravenously (infusions). Our nurses also help manage any pain or side effects that you might feel during treatments.
Your Sentara cancer team also includes highly trained specialists who offer support and integrative care services. Team members include:
Our cancer patient navigators offer emotional support, facilitate communication among care team members, answer questions about diagnosis, treatment and test results, and help resolve any barriers to care. We also connect you with cancer support services, including wellness programs, cancer rehabilitation support groups.
Maintaining adequate nutrition is critical during cancer treatment and as you heal. Expert dietitians and oncology nutritionists ensure you get the needed calories and nutrients to build and maintain strength.
Palliative care specialists
To help our patients and their family members feel supported throughout any stage of cancer treatment, our palliative care specialists access and manage patients' pain and other symptoms. They work closely with families, too, and identify and support their needs and assist with coordinating care.
Oncology licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) support the psychosocial needs of patients and family members through the cancer care journey, from diagnosis through survivorship.
Other cancer team members
Your care team may also include:
- Cancer registrars
- Case managers
- Community educators
- Home care nurses and staff
- Hospice nurses and staff
- Genetic counselors
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Speech therapists