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Your Clinical Team

There are several specialists involved in the care of patients with primary liver cancer who come together in a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to discuss your diagnosis and the best treatment options. 

This may vary slightly by region but normally includes surgeons, hepatologists, radiologists, pathologists, oncologists and specialist nurses. 

In this video Professor Helen Reeves introduces the MDT and how they will be involved in your care.

Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) Members

Find out a bit more about how different specialists will be involved in your care.

Hepatologist

Heptologists are physicians or medical doctors, with specialist knowledge of looking after patients with liver problems. Many people who develop liver cancer, have a pre-existing liver condition. So it is important to have a hepatologist involved, to work out if the treatments available are safe.  Hepatologists also help to look after people's livers when they are having treatment for their liver cancer. Hepatologists are often involved at the start of a patient's journey from diagnosis, helping to choose the right treatments -  with surgeons, radiologists and oncologists - and assessing the success of it.

Palliative care specialist

Sometimes there is not a specific anti-cancer treatment – either curative or palliative – that our patients can have that will help them.  For these people, we focus on their supportive care – looking at a person's symptoms or needs. Whether it's not eating enough, trouble with bowels, sleep, energy levels, pain or anxiety.  We know that ‘best supportive care’ focused on individual needs can help people live longer, as well as have a better quality of life.  Palliative care specialists include specially trained consultants and nurses, but often many other doctors (eg. G.P.s) and team members (district nurses) who also have expertise.  Palliative support can be organised in hospitals, at home and also sometimes in a hospice.

Pathologist

A pathologist is a specialist doctor who studies tissues or cells and interprets changes that occur in disease.  A pathologist will study liver biopsy tissues, sometimes with specialised stains and techniques, that help to confirm a diagnosis of cancer – as well as the type of cancer.  Pathologists also look carefully at tissues removed at the time of an operation, to ‘stage’ a cancer and tell the team how advanced a cancer is. This can mean in terms of size, but also numbers – sometimes cancers are too small to be seen on scans. At the time of an operation, lymph nodes are often sampled and pathologists will look at these as well, to see if cancer cells have spread there.

The HUNTER Team

This website has been created for you by members of the HUNTER team, a group of researchers and clinicians working to improve the outcomes for patients with liver cancer. 

You can find out more about the research being undertaken by HUNTER researchers here. 

Acknowledgements

Living with Liver Cancer has been a collaborative effort which would not have been possible without all of these people.

Professor Helen Reeves

Professor of Liver Cancer & Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist, Newcastle Hospitals

Professor Derek Manas

Consultant Hepatobiliary and Transplant Surgeon, Newcastle Hospitals

Robyn Watson

HUNTER Research Technician, Newcastle University

Dr Emily Mavin

HUNTER Project Manager, Newcastle University

Dr Louise MacDougall

Hepatologist, Newcastle Hospitals

Dr Kate Hallsworth

Senior Research Physiotherapist, Newcastle Hospitals

Dr Sam Orange

Lecturer in Exercise Physiology, Newcastle University

Rachel Thomson

Dietician, Newcastle Hospitals

Nickola Kilbride

Clinical Nurse Specialist & Macmillan Cancer Nurse Specialist, Newcastle Hospitals

Professor Tim Meyer

Oncologist, Royal Free London

Sarah Selemani

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Kings College Hospital

Donna O'Sullivan

Macmillan Nurse Specialist, Royal Free London

LIVErNORTH

Patient support group, Newcastle

Mr Ian Parker

Patient representative, Newcastle

Emma Holliday

Artist, Newcastle

Christy Ducker

Poet, Newcastle

Paul Box-Grainger

Sharp Focus

Cancer Research UK

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