Oncologists are professionals in the medical field who specialize in the treatment, diagnosis, and removal of tumors that are often associated with cancer. If you are referred to an oncologist by your family doctor, you may assume that just about any professional in the field would be the same. However, there are actually several different types of oncologists who all specialize in very different things when it comes to tumor or cancer treatment. In fact, some cancer patients may have to visit several different oncologists for different aspects of care. Here is your guide to understanding the different specialties in oncology.
Palliative Care - Palliative care oncologists focus on the treatment of patients who have a terminal form of cancer. They primarily perform procedures that will only enhance the quality of life and keep a patient comfortable.
Radiology Oncology - Radiology oncology focuses on the treatment of a tumor through radioactive therapies and procedures. If someone is diagnosed with cancer and must undergo radiation, they may have a radiology oncologist in addition to their primary oncology doctor.
Surgical Oncology - The primary form of surgical oncology treatment is the removal of cancerous tumors or cells from an affected area of the body. There are many forms of surgery for tumors and cancer to be considered.
Pediatric Oncology - This area of oncology is devoted to the care of children and young adults who are diagnosed with cancer or tumors. The professionals in this field are extensively trained in palliative care and comfort measures to take with children suffering with cancer.
Gynecological Oncology - The gynecological area of oncology is all about the reproductive organs of a woman, including the breasts. Gynecological oncologists often also specialize in fertility treatments for patients who have had cancer or tumors of the reproductive organs.
Ocular Oncology - Ocular oncology is the treatment of tumors and cancers that are associated with the eyes and connective tissues of the eyes.
Experimental Oncology - Cancer research is an ever-evolving thing and there are consistently new treatment method ideas and experiments taking place. An experimental oncologist focuses on providing patients with up-and-coming trial information and treatment options that may be available.
If you have been referred to an oncologist for medical advice or treatment, it is a good idea to ask your doctor about what area of oncology the doctor specializes in. Doing so will give you a better idea of what kind of treatment you should expect.
To learn more about oncology, contact a clinic like Southwest Oncology Centers.