Oncology is the study of cancer. An oncologist is a doctor who treats cancer and provides medical care for a person diagnosed with cancer.
The field of oncology has 3 major areas: Medical, Surgical and Radiation.
A Medical Oncologist treats cancer using chemotherapy or other medications, such as targeted therapy or immunotherapy.
A Surgical Oncologist removes the tumor and nearby tissue during surgery. He or she also performs certain types of biopsies to help diagnose cancer.
A Radiation Oncologist treats cancer using radiation therapy.
The role of the Oncologist
An Oncologist manages a patient’s care throughout the course of the disease. This starts with the diagnosis. His or her role includes:
· Explaining the cancer diagnosis and stage
· Talking about all treatment options and his or her preferred choice
· Delivering quality and compassionate care
· Helping a patient manage the symptoms and side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.
Different types of doctors often work together to create a patient’s overall treatment plan that combines different types of treatments. For instance, a patient may need treatment with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. This is called a multidisciplinary team.