What you need to know about oncology
Oncology is the study of cancer, making an oncologist a doctor who treats and provides broader medical care and support to someone with cancer. Also known as cancer specialists, oncologists are an essential part of the healthcare system, helping cancer patients reach a diagnosis, develop a treatment plan, and deal with the physical and mental side-effects of the disease.
The field of oncology is made up of three main areas, which are based on types of treatment. There are medical oncologists who treat cancer using medication such as in chemotherapy, radiation oncologists who treat using radiation therapy, and surgical oncologists who use surgery to take biopsies for diagnoses and remove tumours.
There are a number of other terms that are often used to describe oncologists who specialise in a certain cancer or patient type. These include geriatric oncologists who typically work with patients over 65 years old, paediatric oncologists who treat children with cancer, and thoracic oncologists who specialise in cancers based in the chest area.
An oncologist’s role is to determine the ideal treatment for a specific cancer, using physical examinations, diagnostic tests, and medical scans to build their understanding of their patient’s needs. Aside from putting together a treatment plan for the cancer itself, an oncologist will also often help with the management of side effects and work with other healthcare staff in a multi-disciplinary team to develop strategies that allow the patient to live their best possible life.
They are highly qualified, often extremely experienced medical professionals who have a deep understanding of cancer and how it affects people. That means that, alongside delivering outstanding medical care, an oncologist will also be a reassuring and welcome presence for patients from an emotional and mental perspective.
If you’re looking for an oncologist near you to help you navigate your battle with cancer and deliver a treatment plan that will give you the best results, find them with My Health Assistant today.