Your Medical & Nursing Team Explained

A treatment plan specific your individual needs     |     Find a Specialist

In Australia, everyone diagnosed with bowel cancer is treated by a team of expert doctors, nurses, specialists and therapists who specialise in the diagnosis, treatment and management of people with bowel cancer.

Your colorectal (bowel) specialist nurse and your surgeon will discuss your case with this multi-disciplinary team (MDT), sharing expertise to plan and agree a treatment plan specific to your individual needs.

Each of the members of the MDT has a different role, providing surgical, medical, practical or emotional help and support.  These may include:
  • Clinical Oncologists are doctors who are skilled in non-surgical forms of cancer treatment, and specialise in radiotherapy treatment.
  • Colorectal Clinical Nurse Specialists have specialist qualifications to manage and care for patients with bowel (colorectal) cancer.
  • Colorectal Surgeons are doctors who have specialised in bowel (colorectal) surgery and perform operations and other surgical procedures (including biopsies) to diagnose and treat bowel cancer.
  • Counsellors help people to deal with emotional issues and problems.
  • Diagnostic Radiologists are doctors who specialise in interpreting images of the body, such as x-rays and ultrasound scans.
  • Diagnostic Radiographers are specifically trained to use equipment, including x-ray or ultrasound, to assist the medical team to diagnose patients.
  • Dieticians are experts in food and nutrition and can advise patients on how to deal with some of the dietary effects of cancer and treatment.
  • Gastroenterologists are doctors who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases of the digestive system.
  • Histopathologists study tissue samples ranging from tiny biopsies (e.g. from the bowel during a colonoscopy) to organs to be removed during an operation (e.g. a section of bowel containing cancer) and give the results to your specialist.
  • Medical Oncologists are doctors who have specialised in the assessment and management of patients with cancer, chemotherapy and other forms of drug treatment.
  • Occupational Therapists help people find ways of coping and adapting following an illness and are able to offer practical and psychological support to people to maintain their independence.
  • Palliative Care Consultants are doctors who specialise in the management and control of symptoms, rather than working towards a cure.
  • Pharmacists advise and support your team with chemotherapy treatments, as well as dispensing prescriptions. They can also give adviceof taking medications and possible side-effects.
  • Physiotherapists help patients regain strength and mobility after treatment.
  • Psychologists/psychiatrists are doctors who help people cope with emotional and personal matters following their diagnosis.
  • Radiologists are doctors who determine the precise location and extent of a cancer in the body, using scans from machines such as x-rays, CAT and MRI scanners.
  • Research Nurses have a specialist interest in undertaking research and participation in clinical trials.
  • Stoma Nurse Specialists are an accessible source of information and provide practical guidance on stomas, as well valuable emotional support.

Find a Specialist
Gastroenterologists, Colorectal Surgeons and Medical Oncologists 
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If you are looking for a Gastroenterologist in Australia, a search facility (by location or primary specialty) is available on the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) website.

If you are looking for a colorectal surgeon in Australia and New Zealand, a search facility (by region) is available on the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSSANZ) website. 

If you are looking for a medical oncologist in Australia, a search facility (by location or specialty) is available on the Medical Oncology Group of Australia (MOGA) website.
Please note the Gastroenteroligical Society of Australia, the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand and the Medical Oncology Group of Australia are member organisations.  Therefore the respective search facilities may not include every specialist practicing in Australia.  Additionally, members may elect not to be listed in the search facilities.