Understanding a Tumor Board
Cancer Center experts meet to discuss patient cases and come up with innovative treatment options that could save lives
The U-M experts who are in attendance depend on each patient's health situation.
Most Tumor Boards:
Surgical oncologist a doctor with special training in treating cancer who may perform biopsies to diagnose cancer, or treat a cancer by removing tumors or other cancerous tissue.
Radiation oncologist a doctor who specializes in the use of radiation to treat cancer.
Pathologist a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and classifying diseases by lab tests, such as looking at tissue and cells under a microscope. The pathologist determines whether a mass or blood sample contains cancer and, if it is cancer, the exact cell type (where it started) and grade (how fast it likely will grow).
Some Tumor Boards
Hepatologist a specialist in diagnosing and treating liver disease. Other types of cancer would have specialists such as gastroenterologists or dermatologists.
Transplant surgeon a doctor who performs organ transplants, moving an organ from one body to another to replace a damaged or absent organ.
Radiologist a doctor who uses imaging techniques (e.g., X-rays, CT scans) to both diagnose and treat disease. In cancer care, this specialist might also perform needle biopsies using the CT or ultrasound technique to locate a tumor and obtain a tissue sample for a diagnosis.
Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Conference
Pulmonary specialist a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the lungs, including lung cancer.
Nuclear medicine a doctor who applies radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.