Types of oncologists and their specialities by Onco Life Cancer Centre

Types of Oncologists and Their Specialties in Oncology

Who is an Oncologist?

Oncology is the specialized branch of medicine devoted to the field of cancer including diagnosis, treatments, and researches. Doctors who treat cancer patients are known as oncologists. Cancer treatment involves various medical procedures and hence, requires a speciality team.

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Role of Oncologist

An oncologist’s role is centered around the complete cancer treatment. Starting from the diagnosis, an oncologist continues with his/her following responsibilities:

  • Explaining to the patient about cancer diagnosed, including the stage.
  • Apprising about the treatment options available
  • Offering quality and compassionate care, thus keeping the patient at ease.
  • Assisting the patient to handle cancer symptoms and side effects in the best way.
  • Maintaining follow-ups even after the treatment.

Types of Oncologists

Depending upon the nature, stage, and location of cancer, there are different oncologists offering their specialized services for cancer treatment. The field of oncology has three main divisions-medical, surgical and radiation. There are also several sub-specialities.

Medical Oncologist

Medical Oncologist is a doctor who treats cancer using chemotherapy and other medications like targeted therapy or immunotherapy. He is the primary health care provider for a cancer patient who leads the development of the patient’s treatment. He works in conjunction with the other medical departments for best results. A medical oncologist is also the responsible head who continues with the follow-ups and checkups of the patients, post-treatment.

Surgical Oncologist

A surgical oncologist is a surgeon who specializes in the surgical removal of cancerous tumors. They are basically general surgeon who undertake additional training in oncology and related surgical procedures. They are also specialized in performing certain types of biopsies to help diagnose cancer.

Radiation Oncologist

Radiation oncologists are doctors who treat cancer through radiation therapy. Radiation therapy employs high-energy X-rays to kill the cancerous cells. At times when it’s not possible to completely destroy the cancer cells, oncologists use the radiations to reduce the tumor or slow the tumor growth without affecting the neighbouring tissues. This is called palliative therapy. The main objective of the therapy is to improve the patient’s quality of life by controlling the tumors growth and its related symptoms.

At times the radiation oncologists also undertake brachytherapy to treat the cancer patients. In this therapy, radioactive sources are implanted directly into or next to the tumor. Depending upon the type of cancer, the radiation radioactive sources may be left in the place permanently or removed at the end of each treatment session.

Other Sub-specialties

Gynecologic Oncologist

Gynecologic oncologists are doctors who treat cancers related to the female reproductive system. This includes ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, and more. They are trained obstetrician-gynaecologist who take additional fellowship training to sub-specialize in oncology.

Pediatric Oncologist

A pediatric oncologist specializes in cancer treatment of children. There are some cancers that mostly affect children and young teenagers like brain tumors, leukemia, osteosarcoma, and Ewing’s sarcoma.

Hematologist-Oncologist

Hematologist oncologists are into diagnosing and treating blood cancers that may include leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

Neuro-Oncologist

Neuro-oncologists are dedicated to the treatment of cancers related to brain, spine and peripheral nerves.

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