There are several very famous academic oncologists. Oncologists get cancer and die of cancer at the same rate as the general population. There are several very famous academic oncologists who have died of cancer, ironically in some cases from the cancer for which they were considered world experts. You'll likely be referred to an oncologist if your doctor suspects you have the condition.
Your primary care doctor can perform tests to determine if you might have cancer. If there are any signs of cancer, your doctor may recommend seeing an oncologist as soon as possible. This may be for further testing and treatment. You should expect to work with a group of healthcare providers while you are receiving treatment.
You will meet with an oncologist, a doctor who specializes in the study, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. The oncologist will follow up regularly with the patient before surgeries and other procedures. For example, if you have prostate cancer and a urologist has recommended surgery, you may want to see a radiation oncologist for information about nonsurgical treatment. What I have never seen or heard of is an oncologist with cancer who decided not to take the right treatment, but to try any of the homeopathic or alternative treatments that were all the rage that year.
An oncologist has the training and knowledge to identify different forms of cancer and how the disease progresses. You may need a special type of oncologist or even more than one type of oncologist for your treatment. 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 a patient comes to the first consultation, the oncologist will conduct a thorough examination.
The oncologist may also order more tests, such as imaging tests (such as CT scans, MRIs, or ultrasounds), or may take a blood or urine sample. I recently had the misfortune of treating a well-known experienced oncologist and a personal friend who had treated for a couple of decades through three different types of cancer. My oncologist friend decided that he greatly appreciated my thoughts on his situation. A medical oncologist's job is to care for cancer patients through the use of items such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy.
It's not uncommon for an oncologist to give a patient a basic prediction of how long it will take to recover. For example, you may be able to locate an oncologist who specializes in treating breast, prostate, lung, colorectal, or other types of cancer. It may also be helpful for the oncologist to know the patient's hobbies, interests, work, and family. Often, a person sees an oncologist when the primary care doctor suspects that the patient has cancer.