Our Health Care Team
When you come to John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center for your cancer care, we put together the team of experts that you need to most effectively treat your cancer and support you during and after treatment. Each member of your team works seamlessly with the others to ensure you receive coordinated, comprehensive care.
Cancer Surgeons (Surgical Oncologists)
Most people with solid tumors see a cancer surgeon (surgical oncologist) first to determine if the cancer can be removed. Your surgeon has specialized training and experience in the treatment of your cancer. Our cancer surgeons use minimally invasive surgery whenever appropriate, resulting in smaller incisions and a speedier recovery.
These doctors have advanced training in the care of people with cancer using chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapies, and other medications designed to kill cancer cells or inhibit cancer growth. Your medical oncologist is also educated about the side effects of anticancer therapies and chooses the drugs that are likely to be best for you, knowing your cancer type and stage and your overall health.
Radiation oncologists work with radiation dosimetrists and medical physicists to tailor a plan of radiation therapy that is most effective for treating your cancer while causing as few side effects as possible. We use the most precise radiation therapy technologies available today.
Radiologists are key members of your team because they read imaging scans (such as x-rays, ultrasound, CT, and MRI scans) to diagnose cancer and monitor how well you are responding to treatment. Interventional radiologists perform specialized procedures—such as biopsies, stent insertion into blocked ducts, and removal of excess fluid—with the guidance of imaging technologies.
Pathologists are doctors with advanced training in the analysis of tissue and blood samples. Their interpretation of your test results is critical for ensuring you receive an accurate diagnosis so you can be matched with the most appropriate treatment.
Cancer treatment can be a lengthy process, requiring multiple appointments with different specialists. Our nurse navigators are here to assist you during your journey by helping with the scheduling of appointments and tests and acting as a point of contact between the various members of your health care team.
Advanced Practice Nurses
Our oncology nurses and nurse practitioners have advanced training in the care of people with cancer. They understand the potential side effects of various cancer treatments and provide vital support and education for you and your family throughout every stage of your care.
John Theurer Cancer Center conducts more clinical trials than any other cancer center in New Jersey. Research nurses have special training in the care of patients enrolled in clinical trials. They will explain to you what you can expect from a clinical trial and take care of your needs during the study.
Social workers provide a multitude of services for you and your family members, ranging from psychosocial support to guidance on practical matters. Social workers can help you navigate through the challenges that a cancer diagnosis can bring to your life and the lives of your loved ones. They can also connect you with resources in your community to make your experience with cancer a little easier.
It is important to maintain a healthy diet during cancer treatment, but it’s not always easy. Our nutritional support staff provides counseling and support to address your nutritional needs during and after cancer therapy to ensure you stay as strong as possible.
Integrative Health Practitioners
Through our Cancer Wellness Program, we offer supervised exercise, yoga, education, and support throughout your journey. Our goal is to treat all of you, not just your disease.
Palliative Medicine Providers
Palliative care starts at the very moment you learn you have cancer. Our palliative care specialists work with you to ensure you are as comfortable as possible during cancer therapy, discussing your needs and preferences to relieve symptoms such as pain, anxiety, stress, sleep problems, fatigue, and other side effects of cancer care.
Our Pastoral Support team meets the spiritual needs of you and your family, especially as it relates to your cancer and your personal spiritual path.
Sexual Health Experts
The treatment of some cancers, such as urologic and gynecologic cancers, can have effects on sexual health. Our sexual health specialists are available to you and your partner to address your concerns.