What are oncology doctors?

Oncology doctors are physicians who have graduated from an accredited medical school and then undergone specialized training in oncology. Oncology is the study and treatment of cancer and tumors in various parts of the body. It is the oncologist’s job to diagnose and treat cancer in his patients, and to work alongside other medical professionals or oncologists in choosing the best treatments.
When an oncology doctor receives specialized training, he may choose from a variety of sub-fields, meaning he will receive training to diagnose and treat specific kinds of cancer. Examples of various oncology related sub-fields include pediatric oncology, which is the treatment of cancer in children; and surgical oncology, which focuses on the removal of cancerous tumors. Other oncology doctors may choose to specialize in gynecological cancers.

To become a certified oncologist in the US, one must take all necessary training and then petition the medical specialty board for licensure. At that time, an examination must be completed and passed in order to obtain a license in oncology. A separate license must be obtained to practice a sub-specialty, and this requires additional courses and examinations to be taken.

Many general practitioners take oncology training as well. This can help them more easily recognize symptoms of cancer in their patients. This may allow them to spot problems earlier than many other family practice doctors, thereby ensuring their patients get treatment as soon as possible.

It is possible for an oncology doctor to specialize in more than one sector of oncology and cancer treatment. For instance, North Star Lodge doctors have specialties ranging from hematology to therapeutic radiology. They hold monthly “Tumor Boards” a meeting with other local and sometimes national specialists and primary care physicians to address all possible forms of treatment. This practice broadens a physician’s base of knowledge and support so decisions are not made independently. Patients can feel comfort in knowing that their case has been scrutinized by a group of specialists who collaborate on their treatment plan.

Dr Jones

Look for more “Doc Talk” when North Star’s own Dr. Vicky Jones will share her insights into the world of oncology.

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