Oncologist – Treating cancer patients
- January 16, 2020
- William Lewis
Coping with illnesses is no easy task. It may take decades to help root out disease before it is born. Cancer is one of those diseases, which is considered deadly for human life. After years of research, doctors have been able to find a solution to this disease but only if it is in its early stages. It is impossible to treat cancer at a very later stage. However, research is continuing to find a cure for this disease.
Oncology is a branch of medicine that involves studying different types of cancer. A doctor who treating cancer patients is known as an oncologist. Becoming an expert practitioner in India requires years of practice and dedication.
Oncologists have three major types of treatment.
1. Medical Oncologist:
A medical oncologist tries to cure cancer through a variety of methods, such as chemotherapy or another drug that may be effective for the patient. These include:
Targeted Therapy – This involves the treatment of specific genes that promote cancer in a healthy body. Under this type of treatment, drugs are given to a patient to prevent cancer cells from growing further. Breast and lung cancer can be treated with this method.
Immunotherapy – This is another type of treatment that involves giving the patient some medicines that help to boost his immune system. It further helps to prevent the spread of cancer to other areas of the body. It acts as a form of a cancer vaccine that can prevent the growth of cancer cells.
2. Surgical Oncologist:
A surgical oncologist uses surgical methods to remove tissue areas that have been affected by cancer. It can also remove the surrounding tissue area to prevent cancer from spreading to other areas of the body. The surgical oncologist may also perform a biopsy to identify if the patient is suffering from cancer. Oncologist removes a portion of the tissue for a cancer test.
3. Radiation Oncologist:
A radiation oncologist uses powerful x-rays and other forms of particles to reduce the growth of cancer cells in the body. It can either be used to eliminate cancer-causing cells completely or to reduce its growth. This form of treatment can be used individually or in combination with other methods such as chemotherapy or surgery.
There are other types of oncologists that are divided based on the different types of cancer that they treat.
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1. Gynecologic Oncologist:
Such oncologists treat gynecologic cancer, which means ovarian cancer in women, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and vaginal cancer. There are various methods used to treat such cancers effectively.
2. Pediatric Oncologist:
Pediatric oncologist diagnoses and treats cancer in children. Some types of cancer particularly affect children, such as bone and blood cancers. It is the responsibility of the pediatric oncologist to treat children in a way that makes them feel safe and comfortable.
Such oncologists are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of blood cancer in patients. There are three types of blood cancer: leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
Leukaemia: is a type of blood cancer where many unnecessary white blood cells are produced by the body, which further affects the production of red blood cells.
Lymphoma: is another type of blood cancer caused by the presence of abnormal white blood cells in the body that usually helps fight off ailments.
Myeloma: occurs when a group of plasma cells in the bone marrow converts into cells as a result of cancer and continues to reproduce. It can adversely affect the bones and liver of the body.
An oncologist has to treat a variety of cancers that affect various organs of the body.
1. Skin cancer
2. Lung cancer
3. Prostate cancer
4. Breast cancer
5. Kidney cancer
6. Bladder cancer
7. Thyroid cancer
8. Pancreatic cancer
As cancer cases, complications and types increase, cancer treatment and even diagnosis are becoming increasingly difficult for oncologists. Oncologists need the help of some other doctors, such as a dermatologist or gynaecologist, to cure cancer. An oncologist is required to consult other doctors and suggest a combination of treatment options to heal the patient completely.