Oncology specialists treat patients at different stages of cancer. These cancer doctors can prolong the life of the patient with accurate diagnosis and correct treatment. Radiation therapy may be right for one patient. Another patient who has lung cancer may be eligible for surgery. Prostate or cervical tumors may be monitored by nurses while patients receive residential medical treatment.
Oncology is a medical field that focuses on the study of tumors, or cells that are growing abnormally, such as in patients with cancer. A doctor of oncology, known as an oncologist, comes up with a diagnosis to determine if the cells in a tumor are cancerous. Oncologists usually work in a hospital or cancer center.
If you think you may have a tumor, consult your regular physician and check the local medical directory to find an oncologist. There are many kinds of cancer, and tumors may be found in the breasts, lungs, skin, and prostate. Other common types include colon, liver, and cervical cancer. An oncologist may specialize in one of these in order to give the most accurate care to his or her patients.
Often, there are no symptoms, so it is important to visit your local heath care clinic or cancer center and have an examination to receive a diagnosis. If the doctor’s professional opinion is that treatment is necessary, he may suggest a number of types of treatment, including radiation therapy or special medication. At times, the only option is a surgical one, because the disease has spread to a point that radiation would be too risky for your health, and the cancerous cells must be removed.
In situations like these, the best physicians and nurses use the utmost precision to make the surgery as painless as possible. While cancer can be a scary word, a skilled oncologist can put you at ease by providing the support and medical attention you need for everything from breast to colon to skin cancer.
Oncology doctors diagnose and treat cancer. Patients seeing an oncology specialist should know a few key terms that will make it easier to communicate with the doctor. By learning these terms, you are more likely to understand your diagnosis and treatment options.
- Cancer Screening – Screening is used to identify cancer in people that do not show any symptoms. It is largely used as a preventative measure that catches cancerous tumors before that cause significant health risks. Screenings typically focus on common types of cancers, such as those that occur in the breasts, mouth, or prostate.
- Lymphoma – Lymphoma is a kind of cancer that attacks the immune system. There are numerous types of lymphomas, including those that circulate in the blood, those that accumulate in bone marrow, and those that consume lymph nodes.
- Leukemia – Leukemia is another type of cancer that doctors might find in the circulatory system or bone marrow. Doctors often spot this disease in its early phases by recognizing a dramatic increase in the blood’s immature white blood cells.
- Surgical Treatments – Surgical treatments remove tumors from the body by cutting out the affected area of the skin, breast, lymph node, or other body part. This requires a tremendous amount of precision because surgeons often need to remove small pieces of the tumor from surrounding tissues. Failing to remove all of the cancerous tissues increases the risk that the patient will experience more serious symptoms in the future.
- Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy uses medications to shrink tumors. The drugs used in chemotherapy kill cancerous cells. In the process, they often cause troublesome side effects. Many oncology professionals try to avoid excessive chemotherapy by pairing it with surgical and radiation treatments.
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