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Treating GIST

Melissa D. Shepherd

Melissa D. Shepherd, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Huntsman Cancer Institute, discusses the various players involved in the care of a patient with GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumors).

The GIST health care team consists of (but is not limited to) a surgeon, medical oncologist, pathologist, radiologist, nurses and social worker. Many patients with GIST are referred to a specialty center, Shepherd says, which can provide several advantages.

Health care providers in a specialty center deal with GIST on a more common basis, Shepherd says.

“Often times with specialty centers, too, they’re all housed together — so the surgeon, the radiation doctor, the chemotherapy doctor, they’re all in the same office and talk to each other on a regular basis,” Shepherd says. “[This] can really help smooth the transition between all of your treatments.”

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