What Is Medical Oncology?
Medical oncology is a special branch of medicine engaged in maintaining medical control and coordination over the implementation of treatment protocol in the cancer patients. This branch tightly cooperates with many other medicine branches depending on the cancer type. Medical oncology is also responsible for immunotherapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. It also involves the long-term necessity for the constant follow-up medical examinations.
All kinds of clinical research such as laboratory research, clinical trials, and translational cancer research is an inherent element of any cancer treatment approach fulfilled with the help of medical oncology.
Medical oncology is closely related with the medical specialists involved into surgical oncology, radiotherapy, and systemic therapy administration.
Who Is Medical Oncologist?
Medical oncologist is a doctor who is liable for the treatment of the patients, suffering from cancer. These medical experts regulate the process of chemotherapy used for the treatment and frequently manage the other doctors who participate in providing the proper health care for the cancer patients. If needed, the task of a medical oncologist is also to provide palliative care aimed at maintaining normal quality of a patient’s life.
The medical oncologists take part in the treatment of all cancer types. Cancer is a medical condition that may develop in a wide variety of the body parts and organs. Depending on the place of origin, cancer may develop with own peculiarities and hence react to the treatment in its own way as well.
The majority of medical oncologists have medical knowledge and experience in curing virtually all types of cancer. However, there still the oncologists who focus just on the treatment of cancer in the appropriate body part; that is, bone cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, pancreas cancer, etc.
It’s strongly not recommended to take any supplements, fat burners, and medications without an approval of the medical oncologist. But if the doctor allows a patient to do this, it’s possible to safely start the intake. The patients have to realize that the work of medical oncologists is strongly targeted on ensuring the most satisfactory cancer treatment results in all cancer patients. That’s why it’s vitally important to fully abide by the medical oncologists’ recommendations.
The Tasks of the Oncologist
The oncologist is directly engaged in the management of patients who go through the process of cancer treatment. But the starting point of this process is setting a diagnosis. Due to this, the major tasks of the oncologist are as follows:
- Explanation of diagnosis and cancer stage to a patient
- Discussion of all possible treatment methods and treatment preferences of a patient
- Provision of top-notch and sympathetic health care
- Assistance to a patient in the management of manifestations and adverse effects of cancer itself and disease treatment
Often, not only a medical oncologist but also other doctors closely cooperate in order to develop a patient’s overall treatment strategy, which is comprised of various treatment approaches. Thus, a person may require the application of several treatment methods such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. In this case, a multidisciplinary team of doctors is needed.
Sometimes it’s also necessary to simultaneously manage obesity along with cancer treatment. And in this case, the treatment of primary diagnosis can be accompanied with the use of non-prescription carb blockers.
Except the oncologists, there are also the other following health care specialists in the cancer care teams:
- Pathologist: This professional is responsible for reading laboratory tests, which determine how body cells, tissues, and organs function and help set a correct diagnosis
- Diagnostic radiologist: This specialist performs imaging tests required for proper diagnostics. Among these tests, there are ultrasound tests and x-rays
- Oncology nurse: It’s a registered nurse who provides medical care and support for the patients who suffer from cancer
- Oncology social worker: They provide both individual and group counseling to the cancer patients and their family members in order to successfully cope with all the aspects of cancer, ranging from physical health to emotional and psychological help
The team of healthcare providers who fight cancer may also include the doctors who specialize in other medicine branches. Thus, a pulmonologist who focuses on the treatment of lung diseases may assist the oncologist in overcoming lung cancer.
In some most serious cases, when the task of establishing diagnosis is very difficult, the help of a tumor board may be needed. The board includes the doctors, working with different types of cancer.
Types of Oncologists
There are different types of oncologists which altogether help the patients overcome malignancies. They are as follows:
Medical oncologists are engaged in curing cancer by means of biological therapies, hormonal therapies, chemotherapy, and some other specific treatment methods. Among the patients, medical oncologists are considered the primary cancer specialists.
Medical oncologists are focused on aiding the cancer sufferers in keeping the diseases symptoms and treatment side effects under control. Medical oncologists also check the overall patients’ wellness during the treatment. The use of medically approved OTC testosterone boosters can’t put up obstacles to cancer therapy.
The patients also very frequently refer to the medical oncologist even long after the end of treatment.
Radiation oncologists utilize the power of high-energy photon beams for reaching and kill malignant cells. Approximately 50% of cancer sufferers are prescribed to undergo radiation therapy within the frame of cancer treatment course.
There are the cancer types which require the placement of radioactive pellets just in or close to malignancy location. The other cancer types only react to massive doses of radiation. Radiosurgery for approaching and eliminating brain tumors is also applied.
Despite the beliefs of many patients, it is a surgical oncologist, not a medical oncologist, whom a patient will be referred to by a general practitioner in case of cancer suspicion. Surgical oncologists do biopsies to actually determine whether a particular person really has malignant cells.
In case that the availability of malignant cells is confirmed, the patients often must visit surgical oncologists again for the removal of malignancy itself and the tissues around it. The surgical oncologist’s consultations will also be needed prior and after tumor removal in order to accelerate and simplify recovery. After successful cancer surgery it’s possible to continue using any top-notch natural HGH supplements.
Pediatric oncologists specialize in diagnosing and treating child cancer. The US medical statistics tells that approximately 80% of children with confirmed malignancy live out in case of timely identified cancer and adequately addressed treatment.
There are pediatric oncologists who are involved in dealing with just particular types of cancer in children, while the other pediatric oncologists scientifically investigate child malignancies. One of the major tasks of pediatric oncologists is actually the work with the families of children suffering from cancer.
Gynecologic oncologists are engaged in overcoming the types of cancer which develop only in women. These cancers include vulvar, vaginal, uterine, cervical, and ovarian cancers which affect the female reproductive organs. Gynecologic oncologists also frequently manage the treatment of serious non-malignant gynecological diseases such as fibroid tumors and endometriosis in order to prevent canceration of these medical conditions.
Hematologists oncologists are in fact the physicians who undergo special training in both hematology and oncology. It means that these medical specialists are involved in the treatment of different blood cancers such as leukemia, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin lymphoma. The hematologists oncologists may also be included to the team of doctors who treat serious blood disorders like hemophilia, sickle cell disease, iron deficiency anemia, clotting diseases which though don’t belong to malignancies.
How to Prepare for an Oncologist Appointment
If you are going to visit an oncologist, you have to obligatorily take all your medical records and copies of imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. You have to also inform the doctor about all prescription pharmaceutical medications you take now or have taken recently. And though the over-the-counter diet pills and other natural remedies don’t belong to the prescription drugs, you should mention such remedies during the oncologist’s consultation as well. Also, you have to prepare the list of questions you want to ask the oncologist.
It’s advisable to go to an oncologist, especially for the first time, with a family member of friend. Since the oncologist will tell you many important things and you will not be able to pick them all out, a close friend or family member will help you get all relevant information and not to miss out something really health-mattering. In addition, they will also assist you in coping with psychological stress accompanying the oncologist’s appointment.