Medical oncology is the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis of solid tumors and non-surgical hematological cancer therapy.

What does an oncologist do?

An oncologist is a specialist in the field of cancer who treats patient diagnosed with cancer through therapies based on the use of chemotherapy or other medications without the use of surgical intervention. The doctor can often work as a team with a surgeon who specializes in the treatment of tumors, or with a specialist in cancer treatment based on radiation.
The specialist explains to the patient the diagnosis and the stage in which the tumor is, informs about the various treatment options, provides care, and assists the patient to have the best quality of life possible.

What diseases are treated by an oncologist?

An oncologist may deal with a wide variety of cancers. The most common include colorectal, lung, breast, and prostate cancer. Other cancers include melanoma, oral, cervical, corpus uteri, liver, pancreatic, kidney, testicular, bladder, and stomach.
An oncologist is also in charge of the care of acute and chronic leukemia, NHL, Hodgkin’s disease, and multiple myeloma.

What are the procedures used by an oncologist?

Among the diagnostic procedures used by an oncologist are fine-needle aspiration biopsy, bronchoscopy, hysteroscopy, cystoscopy, barium enema, MR cholangiopancreatography, colposcopy, ERCP, EUS, echography, transvaginal pelvic ultrasound, transrectal ultrasound, blood tests, and urine tests. Others include esophagogastroduodenoscopy, hysteroscopy, dynamic lymphoscintigraphy, mammography, mediastinoscopy, PET, colonscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, Rx, CAT scan, prostate-specific antigen, and urography.
To treat tumors a medical oncologist may use treatments such as chemotherapy, biological therapies like anti-VEFG, allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, and combined use of anti-cancer drugs and autologous stem cell.

When should a patient visit an oncologist?

A general practitioner will send a patient to an oncologist after suspecting the presence of a tumor. It is also necessary to visit the specialist after being subjected to cancer treatment in order to monitor the recovery progress and likelihood of relapse.