There are three types of recognized oncologists, including medical, surgical and radiation, all of whom work together in some aspect to treat people who suffer with cancer. Typically, once a person has been diagnosed with cancer, an oncologist administers care and a treatment plan, reports Cancer.Net.
An oncologist is accountable for the care of a patient from the time of diagnosis until the end of the disease, says the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Some responsibilities include explaining the diagnosis, discussing treatment options, giving high-quality care and maintaining the patient’s quality of life, relays Cancer.Net.
A medical oncologist concentrates on treating cancer with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment plan that uses medicine to destroy cancer cells in the body. Chemotherapy may potentially harm quick-dividing healthy cells, notes WebMD. This includes cells that line the mouth or cause hair to grow.
A surgical oncologist focuses on the operation aspects, including removing the tumor and any surrounding tissues and performing the biopsies. A biopsy is a process of removing sample tissue or cells from the body to analyze for evidence of disease, says Mayo Clinic.
A radiation oncologist treats cancer with radiation therapy, according to Cancer.Net. Gynecologic oncologists, pediatric oncologists and hematology oncologists are recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.