The medical profession has a large number of specializations. Oncology is one of them, and it is the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Due to an increase in cancer patients in recent times, this field of specialization is increasingly becoming very important. Cancer can affect all body parts – the throat, lungs, stomach, urinary tract, and so on. Hence, if one has been visiting the best urologist in Mumbai and has referred you to an oncologist, the doctor may be suspecting cancer.
Types of Oncologists
An oncologist is responsible for the detection and treatment of cancer using the latest medicines and technology. His job also includes dealing with the side effects of the treatment. Oncology has further specializations based on the type of treatment. We shall discuss some of them here.
- Medical oncologist:
It refers to a medical practitioner who treats cancer using medications and chemotherapy. He is the primary doctor who spearheads cancer treatment. The doctor often collaborates with other doctors and medical departments to treat the patient. He also conducts post-hospitalization check-ups and follow-up treatment of the patient.
- Radiation Oncologist:
He is an oncologist specializing in radiation therapy. It makes use of high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. They also conduct palliative therapy whenever required. However, sometimes it is not possible to destroy the cancerous cells. In such scenarios, radiation therapy is used to reduce the tumor or at least slow down its growth. The chief goal is to improve the patient’s life by reducing cancer growth and the symptoms.
Radiation oncologists also use brachytherapy to treat patients. In this treatment, radioactive sources are implanted inside the body next to the tumor. The radioactive sources may be left within the body or removed, as required.
- Surgical oncologist:
It refers to a surgeon who surgically removes the tumor. A surgical oncologist also performs biopsies to help diagnose whether the tumor is cancerous. Oncologists can also be classified based on the body part or organ where cancer is being treated. Some of them are discussed below:
- Gynecologic oncologist:
These are specialists who treat cancer in the female reproductive system. For example, they treat cervical cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, etc. These doctors are gynecologists who have taken additional training and courses to specialize in oncology.
It refers to specialists who treat cancers in the urinary system such as kidneys, prostate gland, testicles, penis, urinary bladder, and so on. The best urologist in Mumbai is likely to refer his patient to a urologic oncologist if he suspects that he has cancer.
- Thoracic oncologist:
These are doctors who treat cancer in the chest area of the patient. It includes the lungs and the esophagus.
Neuro-oncology is a specialized field of cancer treatment that deals with the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord.
They are doctors who treat blood cancer such as lymphoma, myeloma, and leukemia. Some specialized doctors treat people of specific age groups, such as children and aged persons. Based on this parameter, oncologists can be classified into the following:
- Geriatric oncologist:
It refers to doctors who treat elderly cancer patients, above the age of 65 years. These patients have age-related issues, and hence their treatment often involves additional challenges. Specialized treatment is required for this age group.
- Pediatric oncologist:
They are doctors who treat cancer in children and teenagers. Some forms of cancer occur in children. Pediatric oncologists diagnose and treat such cancer.
At times, the diagnosis of cancer in a patient proves to be quite complex. In such cases, an oncologist might take advice from a team of specialists. This group of expert doctors works together for the best treatment plan. This group usually contains experts in medical, radiation, and surgical oncology.
What should you expect?
If the best urologist in Mumbai has referred his patient to an oncologist, then is it a cause of worry for the patient? Here’s what one can expect from visiting the oncologist.
- A physical examination:
An oncologist will perform a physical examination of any new patient. It helps determine the extent and the spread of cancer.
- Additional tests:
The oncologist might also take your blood samples and send them for additional tests. You may also have to undergo CT scans, urine tests, MRIs, and ultrasounds.
- Meeting with other specialists:
The patient may examine by other doctors as well – each specializing in their field.
- Treatment plan:
After receiving the necessary inputs, the doctor shall provide the patient with an overview of the treatment plan. It shall include the procedures to follow and the time for recovery.
Cancer may not necessarily be frightening in all cases. In the case of early detection, patients have been seen to recover completely. Therefore, if one has been under the treatment of the best urologist in Mumbai and has been referred to an oncologist, then the patient should not break down. A positive frame of mind helps the patient to fight cancer. Also check out other health blogs