It is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed when you first realize you are going to need cancer treatment. It easy to forget to ask questions when you are contemplating a cancer diagnosis.The reality is, the more you know about the type of cancer you are dealing with, the more probable you are to make decisions…
Cancer Treatment: What Is Oncology?
Cancer can affect people of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. If you or a loved one is suffering from this disease in any form, it is important to understand how to fight it. Your oncologist will be one of your most valuable resources during this battle. This doctor has the training and knowledge to provide you with the resources to help manage the effects of the condition. You can confide your concerns and fears to your oncologist.
What does an oncologist do?
An oncologist researches the causes, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This professional can treat young and old patients. Pediatric oncologists focus on the needs of children. The oncologist will determine the most effective and appropriate treatment for the patient’s cancer. The doctor will also work with other professionals on the staff. This includes nurses, radiologists, pathologists and surgeons. The oncologist stays with the patient from diagnosis to recovery and remission.
Different forms of this disease require different treatment approaches. Before choosing to use chemotherapy, the doctor will consider where the disease is. The severity and stage will also play a role in the treatment. These factors will help decide the treatment plan. But, the oncologist may recommend chemotherapy in a large percentage of cases. This aggressive approach uses potent chemicals to kill fast-growing cells. Chemotherapy can be effective when the disease has spread throughout the body. The oncologist will discuss possible side effects with the patient.
Patients who have the disease in the eye, neck, head, breast, cervix or prostate often get radiation treatment. In this approach, the medical team will use high doses of radiation to kill the affected cells or shrink tumors. The treatment works gradually, so it can take weeks or months for the cells to die. This treatment can eliminate the disease from the person’s body and also ease the symptoms.
Sometimes, neither radiation nor chemotherapy is necessary, and the patient only requires surgery. A surgical process will remove the tumor and any other cancerous tissues from the body. There are other cases when surgery will be performed along with other treatments. The patient may need many surgeries, depending on the seriousness and type of cancer.
After cancer treatment
The oncologist will follow up with the patient after the procedures. The person may make monthly or even weekly visits to the oncologist after treatment. At these appointments, the doctor will check to see how the patient is progressing. The oncologist may prescribe medication for pain and discomfort. Even if the patient no longer has the disease, the doctor will continue to see the person for wellness checkups.
In your corner
Suffering from cancer can be taxing on your body and emotions. Your oncologist will help you through this difficult process. You can have peace of mind knowing that this professional has your well-being in mind. Make an appointment today to discuss your needs with your oncologist.
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