A cancer diagnosis can be scary, but finding the right oncologist can ease some of the uncertainties about the future. Locating an oncologist who a patient is comfortable with is a crucial step of cancer treatment.Patients have a variety of options when it comes to locating the right oncologist.The diagnosing doctor should be the first…
A Guide to Oncology: What You Should Know
The branch of medical science that primarily deals with cancers and tumors is called oncology. The word part "onco-" means relating to tumors, while "-logy" signifies study. A doctor that primarily deals with the treatment and care of those who have been diagnosed with cancer is called an oncologist.
According to the American Cancer Society, there are over a million new cases of cancer in the U.S. each year. The leading type of cancer is skin cancer. There have been more people diagnosed with it than all the other types of cancer combined. Other common types of cancer include breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women, with lung cancer taking the top spot. Overall, over 2.8 million women have been able to overcome cancer thanks to breakthroughs made in oncology.
Third on the list is colorectal cancer for both men and women in the U.S. As is the case with skin cancer, it is also one of the more preventable types.
The different types of oncologists
There are several areas of specialization in oncology. These include:
- Medical oncologist: This is a doctor that treats cancer with medications and chemotherapy
- Hematologist: This person diagnoses and treats cancers in the blood like myeloma, leukemia and lymphoma
- Surgical oncologist: This doctor diagnoses cancer with biopsies and removes tumors with surgical procedures
- Radiation oncologist: Uses radiation to attack cancer cells
- Pediatric oncologist: Treats children with cancer
- Gynecologic oncologist: Treats cancers that affect the female reproductive system like cervical, uterine or ovarian cancer
The role of Oncology
An oncologist serves multiple roles when it comes to cancer treatment. After a diagnosis is made, the oncologist is the one who educates the patient about their condition and its current stage. The stage refers to the cancer's location and if it has spread to other parts of the body. This information helps when it comes to making a prognosis and coming up with a treatment plan.
The oncologist also helps to come up with a therapy plan. They explain treatment options to patients and help them to make educated decisions. The therapy recommended might include radiation, chemotherapy, medication or surgery. Oncologists typically work in teams that consist of doctors from different fields.
An oncologist will oversee the patient's progress throughout the different stages of treatment. They will help the patient to manage the side effects and any pain associated with their treatment. Once treatment is complete, the oncologist will continue to monitor the patient.
We make cancer treatment easier
If you or a loved one is faced with a cancer diagnosis, an oncology expert at Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center can guide you as you try to figure out which treatment plan will work best for you. We provide patient-centered treatments using the latest technology available. Call us and schedule a consultation with our Marlton office today.
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