What Does an Oncologist Do?


Quick Answer

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.

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What Does an Oncologist Do?
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Full Answer

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.

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