Medical oncology is a fundamental part of MDT and provides cancer patients with a comprehensive, systemic approach to treatment and care, while ensuring the safe and cost-effective use of evidence-based cancer drugs and preserving the quality of life of cancer patients throughout the whole “cancer journey”. An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer. Your oncologist will be responsible for your care from diagnosis to the course of your illness. In cancer care, a patient is usually treated by a team of oncologists who specialize in different areas of oncology and types of treatment. For instance, a medical oncologist uses medications to treat cancer, a radiation oncologist specializes in radiation therapy to treat cancer, and a surgical oncologist is an oncology surgeon.
Learn more about the different types of oncologists. To begin with, the vast majority of cancer patients present in primary care. In recent surveys, more than 80% of patients with common cancers first presented symptoms to their primary care physicians.5 Patients often consider this to be the most important part of their journey to cancer6 and, with good reason, stage at diagnosis is the most important determinant of survival.7 Diagnosing cancer early is not easy, however, especially when symptoms are not specific and poorly predictive,8,9 GPs know that referrals must be selective or they will flood expensive and limited diagnostic services.4 Although there is little evidence on how to achieve a diagnosis early, there are many recommendations (for example, the 8 For cancers detectable by screening, primary care plays a proven role in optimizing and ensuring equitable assimilation, if provided with sufficient support and resources.10Oncologists have the highly specialized knowledge needed to diagnose and treat cancer. Many oncologists improve their practice by specializing in certain types of cancer or cancer treatments.
Oncologists are highly trained doctors who research, diagnose and treat cancer. Being an oncologist offers several personal and professional rewards, such as saving lives, advancing in the medical field, gaining prestige and living a comfortable lifestyle. Although oncology has its pros and cons, such as years of rigorous studies, many doctors consider this career worthwhile. Surveys show that only a handful of oncologists would choose a different specialization if they started afresh in the medical field. Oncology Nursing News reports that advances in cancer treatment are happening rapidly with new approaches, such as gene therapy.
Oncologists not only diagnose cancer, they can also administer treatments and closely monitor the progression of the disease. People with cancer often work with a team of healthcare providers, including nurses, dietitians, pathologists and oncologists. These providers meet with patients and collaborate with the oncology team, including a supervising oncologist. During the first visit, the oncologist may perform a physical exam and order additional blood tests, imaging tests, or biopsies. During these visits, the medical oncologist can perform tests to look for signs of any physical or emotional problems related to the person's cancer treatment. After graduating from medical school, prospective oncologists must complete a residency program, usually in internal medicine or general surgery, followed by a fellowship in their chosen oncology subfield.
The term oncologist is a general term that includes the specialties of Medical Oncology and Clinical Oncology.
medical oncologistsare also engaged in clinical and translational research to promote innovation and new therapies, and contribute to cancer diagnosis, prevention and research, making a difference for patients in a dynamic and stimulating professional environment. Above all else, an oncologist should have empathy for patients facing what can be a serious and worrisome diagnosis. After a primary care doctor finds evidence of cancer, he or she will refer the person to an oncologist for further evaluation. For example, surgical oncologists can perform biopsies and remove cancerous tissue while radiation oncologists can administer different forms of radiation therapy to kill cancer cells and reduce the size of tumors. Working with a team of oncology nurses, radiologists, pathologists, social workers and spiritual counselors; the oncologist oversees curative treatment if possible as well as palliative care. Oncologists can be hailed for making an innovative discovery that leads to revolutionary treatment in hormone therapy or radiation therapy.
Clinical oncologists will devote at least one session per week to technical planning of radiation therapy for individual patients.