Oncology is the study of cancer. An oncologist is a doctor who treats cancer and provides medical care to a person who has been diagnosed with cancer. The oncologist may also be called a cancer specialist. The oncologist can do a physical exam to find abnormalities that may indicate cancer.
They can also do blood and urine tests or imaging scans, such as MRIs, ultrasounds, and CT scans. They may do one or more biopsies to check for cancer cells in the tissues. An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer. They act as the primary healthcare provider for people with cancer to coordinate and manage their treatment.
Because most cancers are treated with a combination of therapies, you may see several different types of oncologists during the course of treatment. If there are cancer cells, you may see the surgical oncologist again this time to have the tumor and surrounding tissues removed. Another option is to look for a trusted hospital and then find out which oncologists are associated with that hospital. People with cancer often work with a team of healthcare providers, including nurses, dietitians, pathologists and oncologists.
Like other cancer specialists, gynecological oncologists have several years of training that focuses specifically on cancers that affect women. Medical oncologists treat cancer with chemotherapy, hormone therapies, biological therapies, and other targeted treatments. For example, surgical oncologists can perform biopsies and remove cancerous tissue, while radiation oncologists can administer different forms of radiation therapy to kill cancer cells and reduce the size of tumors. If you have cancer, an oncologist will design a treatment plan based on detailed pathology reports that indicate what type of cancer you have, how much it has developed, how quickly it is likely to spread, and what parts of your body are involved.
After residency, medical oncologists must complete another two to three years on a medical oncology fellowship. If a biopsy reveals cancer cells in the tissue sample, the surgical oncologist can remove the tumor and surrounding tissues. Oncology the study and treatment of cancer takes its name from the Greek word “oncos”, which means swelling and refers to the way Greek doctors described how tumors grew. Once the person finishes treatment, they will attend regular follow-up appointments with their medical oncologist.
A surgical oncologist may be one of the first doctors you go to if your primary care doctor suspects you have cancer. After a primary care doctor finds evidence of cancer, he or she will refer the person to an oncologist for further evaluation. In general terms, you may see an oncologist if you talk to your primary care doctor about a change in your body and they recommend that you have some preliminary tests. When you or your loved ones are first diagnosed with cancer, one of the next important steps will be to meet with your radiation oncologist.