Your Care Team

Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Dana-Farber caregivers understand that a cancer diagnosis affects each adult or child — and each family member — in different ways.

From your first visit, you'll find that our team is committed to supporting your physical and emotional needs, as well as those of your family members. To provide continuity throughout your care, you will be assigned a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals led by a medical oncologist (cancer specialist) or hematologist (blood disease specialist) who is a senior staff physician. If we are caring for your child, the team will include a pediatric oncologist or hematologist.

Specialized Care at Every Age

Patients of every age need care tailored to their needs. Just as caring for children requires a distinct set of approaches and techniques, the same is true for adults across the age span. For children, for young adults, for older adults – at Dana-Farber, our experts have the clinical expertise, experience, and compassion to treat you, your child, or your loved one with the specialized approach they need. 

For Adult Patients

If you are hospitalized in Dana-Farber’s Inpatient Hospital located at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, your care team will include an attending physician (hospitalist), who will coordinate care among your specialists.

For Pediatric Patients

If your child is hospitalized at Boston Children's, the room will have bedside accommodations for one parent. Pediatric units have family support space and child activity rooms. Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic is also built with your family in mind, providing separate waiting areas for young children and teens. Inside the clinic, private consultation rooms offer comfortable waiting areas during initial visits and second opinions.

In addition to doctors and nurses, many other members of our team will support you and your family.

    Attending physician (hospitalist): Supervises your care if you are in the hospital.

    Medical oncologist (or pediatric oncologist): Specializes in cancer and oversees your chemotherapy and/or other medical treatments.

    Surgical oncologist: A surgeon who specializes in cancer surgery, creates a plan for your operation, performs the procedure, and supervises your post-operative care.

    Radiation oncologist: A physician who specializes in the treatment of cancer using radiation. The radiation oncologist prescribes needed doses, identifies where beams will be placed, and oversees radiation treatments.

    Palliative care physician: Works alongside your care team with a multidisciplinary approach, improving your quality of life, lessening the burden of cancer-related symptoms, and providing extra support to you and your family.

    Psychiatrist or psychologist: A physician or clinician who evaluates and helps you manage the psychological and emotional issues you may experience during cancer treatment.

    Oncology fellow (or pediatric oncology fellow): Takes care of patients under the supervision of oncologists. The oncology fellow has a medical degree and has completed residency, and is now training in cancer care.

    Physician assistant: Works with your doctors to diagnose and treat illness, perform physical exams, offer preventive care, prescribe medication, and educate you about your illness and treatment.

    Intern and resident: A physician training in medicine, who may take care of you while you are an inpatient or in some outpatient settings.

    Infusion (chemotherapy) nurse: Specializes in the care of cancer patients and their families. These nurses help manage your care and administer chemotherapy.

    IV nurse: May insert IVs, access your Port-A-Cath, obtain blood specimens, and administer non-chemotherapy medications.

    Nurse practitioner: Works with your doctors to diagnose and treat illness, perform physical exams, offer preventive care, prescribe medication, and educate you about your illness and treatment.

    Inpatient nurse: Cares for you if you are hospitalized.

    Nurse scientist: Works with research coordinators and your care team on studies that may improve your quality of life.

    Program nurse: Educates you about treatment plans and advises you on how best to manage side effects.

    Radiation nurse: Specialize in caring for you and helping you manage side effects during your radiation treatment.

    Research nurse: Participates in the care for patients who are on clinical trials and makes sure that infusion nurses are educated on your trial’s treatment protocol.

    Find out more about the Nursing and Patient Care Services department.

    Chaplain: Offers spiritual support to patients and families of all faiths, as well as those who are not religious.

    Clinical assistant: Checks your vital signs and helps your nurse with certain procedures.

    Clinical research coordinator: Works with you and your doctors, nurses, and other staff on research studies.

    Clinical social worker: Provides emotional support and counseling to patients and their families.

    New patient coordinator: Arranges your first outpatient visit and helps you learn about Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center.

    Practice coordinator: Schedules your outpatient appointments and tests.

    Diagnostic technician: Performs tests and scans that show images of your cancer.

    Integrative therapy practitioner: Helps you with symptom management through massage, acupuncture, Reiki, meditation, and/or other mind/body therapies that may improve your quality of life.

    Mastectomy fitter: Our certified mastectomy fitters are trained and qualified to participate in the fitting and delivery of breast prostheses and mastectomy products and services.

    Pharmacist: Prepares and dispenses your medications and chemotherapy.

    Phlebotomist: Draws your blood before chemotherapy treatments and assists nurses in infusion units.

    Physical or occupational therapist: Assists you with physical difficulties that may result from your illness and its treatments. Helps strengthen gross and fine motor skills.

    Radiation technician: Delivers radiation treatments.

    Registered dietitian: Helps you choose foods and plan meals designed to aid your comfort, recovery, and health.

    Resource specialist/patient navigator: Helps you find community services, short-term housing, local transportation, and referrals to community programs.

    Respiratory therapist: Provides care and assistance to patients with cardiopulmonary problems during treatment and/or testing.

    Volunteer: Offers a variety of services, such as greeting you at our reception desks, delivering snacks and sandwiches, assisting in the gift shops, delivering newspapers and books, visiting you in the hospital and clinics, and identifying resources.

    Continued Care After Treatment

    After your treatment is completed… we are still here for you. 

    Dana-Farber's Adult Survivorship Program will help you find expertise, education, and support to manage issues related to surviving cancer. This includes managing the risk of second cancers, understanding the long-term effects of treatment, and addressing your social, physical, or psychological concerns.

    For children, we offer two childhood cancer survivorship clinics — one each for general oncology and childhood brain tumor survivors. Our brain tumor survivorship clinic is one of only a few in the United States completely dedicated to pediatric brain tumor survivors.