Medical Oncology is the study of cancer. A medical oncologist is a doctor who treats cancer and provides medical care for a person who is diagnosed with cancer.
There are three major treatment modalities in Oncology: medical, surgical, and radiation.
- A Medical Oncologist treats cancer using chemotherapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy.
- Surgical Oncologists treats cancer with surgery.
- A Radiation Oncologist treats cancer by using radiation therapy.
Types of Medical Oncologist and Hematologist include:
- Solid Tumor specialists deal in cancers arising from organs like lungs, breast, prostate and colon.
- Malignant Hematology specialists deal in Hematologic Neoplasms which are cancers arising from blood cells such as acute and chronic leukemia, myeloproliferative disorders, myelodysplastic syndromes, lymphoma, myeloma and amyloidosis
- These doctors may choose to focus on a single disease or group of diseases.
What Does an Oncology Physician do?
An Oncology Physician manages a patient’s care throughout the course of the disease. This starts with their diagnosis. Their role includes:
- Explaining the cancer diagnosis, stage and prognosis.
- Talking about all treatment options and the preferred choice- so called standard of care.
- Providing emotional and social support with available resources.
- Managing the symptoms and side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.
- Monitoring for long- and short-term side effects of therapy.
- Guidance on cancer risk, cancer prevention strategies and a healthy lifestyle.
Cancer care teams are multi-disciplinary and include a variety of other health care professionals:
- A pathologistreads laboratory tests.
- A radiologistconducts imaging, including x-rays or ultrasound tests to diagnose disease.
- Oncology Nurses
- Social Workers
- Care- coordinators/ navigators
- Palliative care
This may also involve Blood Specialist Doctor from other areas of medicine. For example, a dermatologist who specializes in skin problems may also help treat skin cancer.
Cancer diagnosis is complex. For reviewing the case, the oncologist sets up a tumor board meeting. In this meeting they involves medical experts from all areas of cancer care who come together to decide on the best treatment plan.
The Medical Oncologist you choose will influence every aspect of your care. So it is important that you feel comfortable with us. Our Medical Oncology and Hematology Specialist will work closely with the patient, their family members, and supporting staff during treatment to provide you with the best care possible.