We’re going to start off with a little cancer 101. For those of you that are new to cancer, we are going to talk about what a cancer doctor is called. This post is geared towards those that are new to cancer or just perhaps just curious.
I wanted to change up what I normally talk about for helping survivors. But I think helping new patients and people that are new to the cancer experience is really important also,
So what do you call a cancer doctor?
Well, a cancer doctor is called an Oncologist and they practice Oncology which is the study of cancer. This is really a simple explanation. I’m going to go over six different types of oncologists that deal with the different sides of oncology. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better, clearer picture of what they do and why.
A Medical Oncologist and Surgical Oncologist
OK, a medical oncologist treats cancer using chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and other medications. Also, they are the ones that prescribe the first bit of your treatment. They also work hand in hand with the second oncologist, a surgical oncologist.
Now surgical oncologists use surgery to remove tumors and they help with performing biopsies. They are critical in helping diagnose and stage your cancer and figure out what kind of treatments you’re going to be needing as you move forward.
A Radiation Oncologist
Now the third one is a radiation oncologist and now a radiation oncologist treats cancer using radiation therapy. So if you have to have a tumor that needs radiation to be part of treatment, then you will see a radiation oncologist also. Now, these three can work hand in hand together with the type of therapy and treatment that you need moving forward. They work a lot more hand in hand than the rest of them. I call them the Big Three.
The next three are also really important and they all can work together depending on what kind of cancer you have of.
A Gynecologic Oncologist
The fourth one is Gynecologic Oncologist. Now they treat gynecologic cancers like uterine, ovarian and cervical. It’s more of a female oncologist that helps with the feminine and reproductive areas of a woman’s body.
A Pediatric Oncologist
The fifth one is a pediatric oncologist. Now, pediatric oncologists deal with children and child cancers. They will also deal with adult cancer patients if the cancer is very similar to what certain children deal with. So it all kind of depends. But mostly pediatric oncologists deal with kids. A touchy subject because none of us ever want to see a child go through cancer. Cause for those of us that have been through it and are survivors, and that’s a really tough pill to swallow.
A Hematologist-Oncologist (Blood)
The sixth one is a Hematologist-Oncologist. Now they deal with diagnosis and treatments for blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, and Myeloma. And they are just specialty oncologists for those fields in itself. Some medical oncologists also study Hematology(Blood) to broaden their education.
These are the six different types of oncologists. And they mostly do everything in the cancer world. This is how it is broken down from my understanding and experience from talking to different oncology departments.
In my case, I have a hematologist. I also dealt with a medical oncologist and a surgical oncologist through my lymphoma. Having had lymph-nodes removed, multiple biopsies and different ports placed also, you can see why you may deal with multiple oncology professionals throughout your experience. Their job is to really explain the diagnosis and staging of your cancer.
So, what do they do?
They’re going to help give you a better understanding of what it is that you might be up against.
They should also review all the different treatment options for you. Because there is more than one for each type of cancer you’re dealing with. There are a lot of different treatment options. And oncology is based on Western medicine treatment options.
Don’t forget the alternatives…
And then there are treatments and options that aren’t suggested. Some are through eastern medicine. And some are based on people’s personal experience. As a new patient or potential patient, you should, by all means, Start informing yourself about everything that is out there. Here is one example… Hoxsey Bio-Medical Center in Tijuana Mexico. Hoxsey is my alternative to long term chemotherapy.
Please remember, Oncology’s job is to help deal with symptoms and side effects management. If you’re dealing with a lot of pain or dealing with one of may side effects, they should be able to help you deal with those side effects that come along with chemotherapy and radiation. Even the surgical side of cancer.
So those are the six different types of oncologists and what their job is to do.