An oncologist is a physician(doctor) who works in the field of oncology. It is the branch of medicine that deals with cancer and its related problems. The three main fields oncologists doctors are:
One of the most common oncology treatments is chemotherapy. Oncologists carefully examine and coordinate oncology treatment, with the help of medications, such as chemotherapy, hormones and analgesics to manage cancer related diseases. Oncologists coordinate care with radiation and surgical oncologists frequently.
The field of oncology has three major areas:
- A medical oncologist treats cancer using chemotherapy or other medications, such as targeted therapyor immunotherapy.
- A surgical oncologist removes the tumors and nearby tissue during surgery. They also perform certain types of biopsies to diagnose cancer.
- A radiation oncologist treats cancer using radiation therapy.
Other types of oncologists include:
- A gynecologic oncologist treats various types of gynecologic cancers, such as uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancers.
- A pediatric oncologist treats cancer in children. Some types of cancer occur most often in children and teenagers which are brain tumors, leukemia, osteosarcoma, and Ewing’s sarcoma.
- A hematologist-oncologist diagnoses and treats blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.
The role of the oncologist
An oncologist manages a patient’s care thoroughly during the course of the disease. This starts with the diagnosis.
- Explaining the cancer diagnosis and stage
- Talking about all treatment options and the patients preferred choice
- Delivering quality and compassionate care
- Helping a patient manage and overcome the symptoms and side effects of cancer.
Different types of doctors often work together to create a patient’s overall treatment plan that combines different types of treatments.
Understanding risk factors
A cancer risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing cancer. It is important to know your risk factors and talk about them with your health care team. It will help you make better lifestyle choices to improve your health. This information could also help your doctor decide if you need genetic testing and counseling.
General risk factors for cancer include:
- Older age
- A personal or family history of cancer
- Using tobacco
- Some types of viral infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV).
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