Princess Margaret Hospital Cancer Program

Endocrine

Endocrine Oncology is the area of medicine that covers tumors arising from and affecting the hormone-producing glands of the body. These tumors typically affect the thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, pancreas, adrenal glands, and gut. While many will never develop into a health risk, others grow to invade and spread into other parts of the body. As with other tumors, early and accurate diagnosis and treatment is essential.

The Endocrine Site Group
The Endocrine Oncology Site Group is comprised of physicians, surgeons, pathologists, radiation oncologists and other medical specialists whose focus of expertise involves complementary areas in the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine tumors. The group meets on a regular basis to discuss and review complex cases, devise treatment plans, and research new areas geared toward earlier diagnosis and better treatment of endocrine tumors.

The Team

Surgery
The surgeons within the endocrine site group are all surgical oncologists (cancer surgeons) within the University Health Network and/or Mount Sinai Hospital. All have subspecialty training in cancer surgery and in the surgical treatment of endocrine cancers, mainly in the most common area of surgery for thyroid and parathyroid tumors. Some of the surgical group members specialize in the surgical treatment of pituitary, pancreas and adrenal disorders.

Medicine
The medical members of the team are responsible for the medical management of the patients. They work very closely with the rest of the team to help oversee and organize the complex aspects of patients' care. Several members also run research laboratories that focus on the mechanisms behind development of these tumors and novel ways of treating them.  

Pathology
Often consulted before and sometimes after treatment, this group's role is to provide an accurate diagnosis and help guide treatment plans.

Radiation Oncology
Photo: cone beam machineThe radiation oncology team participates in the assessment and management of thyroid cancer. Team members have expertise in aggressive forms of the disease including post-surgical treatment with radioactive iodine, and high-precision external beam radiation therapy. For pituitary tumors, they provide consultation and treatment with high precision radiation therapy utilizing the latest stereotactic techniques.

Diagnostic Imaging
The radiology members of the endocrine site group focus on identifying features that help them detect tumors at an early stage. They are constantly looking for better ways to predict whether tumors will require earlier and/or more aggressive treatment.

Psychosocial Oncology
Coping with cancer often impacts a patient's physical, mental and emotional status. The psychosocial team is there to assist in fostering healthy coping mechanisms.

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