Cancer Specialist(s)

About Cancer Specialist

Types of cancer specialists

There are three main types of cancer specialists depending on the nature of cancer treatment, including medicine, radiation, and surgery. Each treatment is handled by different specialists. A person might not need all the three types of treatments. It actually depends on the type of cancer as well as the stage of the cancer.

The three types of cancer specialists are:

  • Radiation oncologist
  • Surgical oncologist
  • Medical Oncologist

About Radiation Oncologist

A radiation oncologist is a physician who specializes in the controlled use of ionizing radiation for the treatment of cancer. Radiation oncology is a branch of oncology, which is often used in combination with the other two branches of medical oncology and surgical oncology to treat a cancer patient.

A radiation oncologist works alongside medical oncologist, surgical oncologist, radiologists, interventional radiologists, internal medicine specialists as well as physicists who form a part of multidisciplinary cancer team at the hospital. The team, based on the patient’s clinical status, develops a comprehensive treatment plan. A radiation oncologist determines the dosage and delivery method of radiation therapy to be given to the patient as per the current clinical status and medical history.

Procedures Performed by Radiation Oncologist

Based on the area of specialization, a radiation oncologist offers procedure not limited to the following:

  • Brachytherapy
  • Internal modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Stereotactic body radiotherapy (Cyberknife, Gammaknife, X-knife)
  • Proton therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • 3D conformal radiation
  • Adaptive radiation therapy (ART)
  • Proton therapy
  • Radioactive iodine therapy
  • Radionucleotide therapy

About Surgical Oncologist

A surgical oncologist is a surgeon specialized in treating cancer that requires surgery to remove tumors and other cancerous tissues. He performs surgeries for removing tumor or cancerous tissues and also the nearby susceptible tissues. Surgical oncologists also perform certain types of biopsies to help in the diagnosis of cancer. They work in coordination with other doctors, specialists and clinicians to help in reducing the pain, side effects, clinicians and speed up the recovery after the surgery.

A surgical oncologist is usually the first specialist doctor you will see if your primary care physician suspects that you have cancer. Surgical oncologist then performs biopsies by taking a small portion of the tissues so that it can be checked for the presence of cancer.

If the presence of cancerous cells gets confirmed, the surgical oncologist will perform surgery to remove the tumor or cancerous cells and the surrounding tissues. The surgeon will also help you prepare for and recover from any surgical procedure that you have to undergo during your cancer treatment.

Most of the patients have cancer surgery combined with other treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. Sometimes, non-surgical treatments (also known as neoadjuvant therapy) or post-surgery treatments (also known as adjuvant therapy) help in the prevention of cancer growth, metastasis or cancer recurrence.

Procedures Performed by Surgical Oncologist

  • Laparoscopy
  • Robotic surgery
  • Appendectomy
  • Bowel resection
  • ERBEJET2
  • Flex Robotic System
  • HIPEC Treatment
  • Vascularized lymph node transfer surgery
  • Lymphaticovenular bypass surgery
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Robotic surgery (da Vinci Surgical System)
  • Thoracotomy
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP)
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)

About Medical Oncologist

A medical oncologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients who have cancer of any tissue or organ. He provides treatment of cancer using systematic therapies- like chemotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy- and biological agents.

A medical oncologist usually works in conjunction with other multi-disciplinary cancer specialists, for instance, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists or interventional radiologists, to give the best treatment outcomes. Your medical oncologist takes care of your chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy.

Medical Oncologists are the specialist that you are going to visit most often and for the longest period of time in the duration of your cancer treatment. This is because your oncologist is the specialist who will modulate your general care and coordinate your course of treatment with other specialists as well.

Procedures Performed by Medical Oncologist

A medical oncologist performs the below, but not limited to, procedures:

  • Blood tests – to look for the markers of cancer
  • Imaging tests
  • Bone marrow aspirate or biopsy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Immunotherapy
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Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the top Cancer Specialists in All offering online consultation?
Which are some of the best hospitals Cancer Specialists are associated with?
Who is a Cancer Specialist?

An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer. If you have cancer, a cancer specialist will design a treatment plan based on pathology reports that say what type of cancer you have, up to what extent it has developed, how quickly it is likely to spread, and what body parts are affected.

As most cancers are treated through a combination of therapies, you could see several different kinds of cancer specialists during the course of your treatment. The types of cancer specialists include:

Medical oncologists: Medical oncologists treat cancer using hormonal therapies, chemotherapy, biological therapies, and other targeted treatments. People often consider a medical oncologist as their primary cancer doctor.

Radiation oncologists: Radiation oncologists use high-energy photon beams to destroy cancer cells.

Surgical oncologists: A surgical oncologist may be the first doctor you may see if your primary care physician thinks that you have cancer. Surgical oncologists often perform a biopsy, which involves the removal of a small section of tissues to check for cancer cells.

Pediatric oncologists: A pediatric oncologist specializes in certain types of cancer, and conducts research on childhood cancers.

Gynecologic oncologists: Gynecologic oncologists can treat cancers that affect women, such as cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.

Hematologist-oncologist: Doctors who specialize in treating blood cancers likely lymphoma and leukemia are called hematologists, because they may treat blood disorders that are not cancer, like hemophilia and sickle cell anemia.

What are the qualifications of a Cancer Specialist?

A cancer specialist must choose a specific discipline to have expertise in a particular type of procedure. The minimum educational qualification for becoming a cancer specialist is a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher Degree from an accredited university or college.

Students after passing their 12th class in the science stream need to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized college or university. Candidates have to appear in entrance tests for getting admission in the very courses related to oncology.

Then go for an MBBS degree, after which you do a three-year:

a) M.S., followed by a three-year M.Ch. Program

b) M.D. (Medicine/ Paediatrics), topped up with a DM (Medical Oncology) qualification

c) M.D. in Radiotherapy. If you can’t do M.S. or M.D., opt for a DNB

A Master’s degree is given more credit in offering jobs or becoming a specialist in Oncology. After passing their graduation candidates can have this post-graduation course from a recognized institute in the country. Here, they are introduced about the details of topics regarding Oncology or other aspects of it which are given below-

Master’s Degree Courses-

M.Ch. (Surgical Oncology)

D.M. (Medical Oncology)

What conditions do Cancer Specialists treat?

Cancer specialistscan treat different types of cancer as given below:

  • Bladder, kidney, and other genitourinary cancers
  • Brain tumors
  • Leukemia and other blood cancers
  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical, uterine, ovarian, and other gynecologic cancers
  • Pancreatic, Colorectal, stomach, and other gastrointestinal cancers
  • Thyroid, Oral, esophageal, and other head and neck cancers
  • Testicular and prostate cancer
  • Skin cancer such as melanoma
What diagnostic tests are required by Cancer Specialist?

A cancer specialist suggests certain diagnostic test(s) to confirm the presence of cancer. Some common tests for cancer detection are as follows:

  • Biopsy: Tissue sample is studied to diagnose cancer.
  • Breast MRI: Imaging test is used to detect breast tissue.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: It is a type of imaging test used to detect and learn more about cancer.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) and Echocardiogram: Tests to find problems with the valves, heart muscle, or rhythm.
  • Mammogram: A mammogram is an X-ray used to detect cancer in breast tissue.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound is used to locate tumors by revealing their exact location in the body.
  • Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET-CT) Scans: It is also known as a PET scan, which is a type of diagnostic test used in cancer treatment.
  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a way to can see the entire large intestine.
  • Bone Scan: It is a test that can help a cancer specialist diagnose problems with your bones.
When should you visit a Cancer Specialist?

Cancer can affect different tissues in the body, producing various signs and symptoms, such as fatigue, weight loss, a persistent cough, and skin changes. Anyone who experiences continuous or worrisome symptoms should consult a cancer specialist immediately. You should visit a cancer specialist if you experience any of the below symptoms:

  • Breast changes: Breast cancer often results in visible changes in the breast tissue.
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods: Irregular vaginal bleeding might signal endometrial or cervical cancers
  • Testicular lumps: A hard, painless lump inside the testicle may indicate testicular cancer.
  • Bowel changes: A persistent change in bowel habits may signal cancers of the rectum or colon, which are collectively referred to as colorectal cancers.
  • Rectal bleeding: Colorectal cancers can lead to bleeding in the digestive system. Stools could contain visible blood or look darker than usual.
  • Urinary changes: Any change in urinary habits is a symptom of both bladder and prostate cancers.
  • Skin cancer: Skin cancer can appear on any part of the skin. However, it mostly appears in areas that have exposure to the sun, like the face, arms, neck, and hands.
  • Lung cancer: Lung cancer may not always produce visible symptoms in its early stages. If symptoms appear, people may mistake them for cold or acute respiratory infections.
What can you expect from your first visit with a Cancer Specialist?

When a patient visits a clinic for the first consultation, the cancer specialist will do a thorough examination. Then, the oncologist will ask some questions and review the patient’s detailed health history. This will include an assessment of the tests and scans the patient might have had beforehand. The cancer specialist can then develop a treatment strategy that suits the patient.

At the first appointment, the cancer specialist will talk to the patient about treatment options. The oncologist will tell which ones are available at present, what the side effects may be, and how effective they are. Then the specialist will recommend a course and then suggest when the treatments should start.

Which are the most common procedures performed by a Cancer Specialist?
  • Immunotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Cryoablation
  • Cancer Surgery
  • Stem Cell Transplant
  • Chemotherapy
  • Clinical trials
  • Precision Medication
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Radiofrequency ablation
What diagnostic tests are required by a Cancer Specialist?

A cancer specialist suggests certain diagnostic test(s) to confirm the presence of cancer. Some common tests for cancer detection are as follows:

  • Biopsy: Tissue sample is studied to diagnose cancer.
  • Breast MRI: Imaging test is used to detect breast tissue.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: It is a type of imaging test used to detect and learn more about cancer.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) and Echocardiogram: Tests to find problems with the valves, heart muscle, or rhythm.
  • Mammogram: A mammogram is an X-ray used to detect cancer in breast tissue.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound is used to locate tumors by revealing their exact location in the body.
  • Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET-CT) Scans: It is also known as a PET scan, which is a type of diagnostic test used in cancer treatment.
  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a way to see the entire large intestine.
  • Bone Scan: It is a test that can help a cancer specialist diagnose problems with your bones.

FAQ's Related to all

Who is a Cancer Specialist?

An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer. If you have cancer, a cancer specialist will design a treatment plan based on pathology reports that say what type of cancer you have, up to what extent it has developed, how quickly it is likely to spread, and what body parts are affected.

As most cancers are treated through a combination of therapies, you could see several different kinds of cancer specialists during the course of your treatment. The types of cancer specialists include:

Medical oncologists: Medical oncologists treat cancer using hormonal therapies, chemotherapy, biological therapies, and other targeted treatments. People often consider a medical oncologist as their primary cancer doctor.

Radiation oncologists: Radiation oncologists use high-energy photon beams to destroy cancer cells.

Surgical oncologists: A surgical oncologist may be the first doctor you may see if your primary care physician thinks that you have cancer. Surgical oncologists often perform a biopsy, which involves the removal of a small section of tissues to check for cancer cells.

Pediatric oncologists: A pediatric oncologist specializes in certain types of cancer, and conducts research on childhood cancers.

Gynecologic oncologists: Gynecologic oncologists can treat cancers that affect women, such as cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.

Hematologist-oncologist: Doctors who specialize in treating blood cancers likely lymphoma and leukemia are called hematologists, because they may treat blood disorders that are not cancer, like hemophilia and sickle cell anemia.

What are the qualifications of a Cancer Specialist?

A cancer specialist must choose a specific discipline to have expertise in a particular type of procedure. The minimum educational qualification for becoming a cancer specialist is a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher Degree from an accredited university or college.

Students after passing their 12th class in the science stream need to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized college or university. Candidates have to appear in entrance tests for getting admission in the very courses related to oncology.

Then go for an MBBS degree, after which you do a three-year:

a) M.S., followed by a three-year M.Ch. Program

b) M.D. (Medicine/ Paediatrics), topped up with a DM (Medical Oncology) qualification

c) M.D. in Radiotherapy. If you can’t do M.S. or M.D., opt for a DNB

A Master’s degree is given more credit in offering jobs or becoming a specialist in Oncology. After passing their graduation candidates can have this post-graduation course from a recognized institute in the country. Here, they are introduced about the details of topics regarding Oncology or other aspects of it which are given below-

Master’s Degree Courses-

M.Ch. (Surgical Oncology)

D.M. (Medical Oncology)

What conditions do Cancer Specialists treat?

Cancer specialistscan treat different types of cancer as given below:

  • Bladder, kidney, and other genitourinary cancers
  • Brain tumors
  • Leukemia and other blood cancers
  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical, uterine, ovarian, and other gynecologic cancers
  • Pancreatic, Colorectal, stomach, and other gastrointestinal cancers
  • Thyroid, Oral, esophageal, and other head and neck cancers
  • Testicular and prostate cancer
  • Skin cancer such as melanoma
What diagnostic tests are required by Cancer Specialist?

A cancer specialist suggests certain diagnostic test(s) to confirm the presence of cancer. Some common tests for cancer detection are as follows:

  • Biopsy: Tissue sample is studied to diagnose cancer.
  • Breast MRI: Imaging test is used to detect breast tissue.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: It is a type of imaging test used to detect and learn more about cancer.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) and Echocardiogram: Tests to find problems with the valves, heart muscle, or rhythm.
  • Mammogram: A mammogram is an X-ray used to detect cancer in breast tissue.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound is used to locate tumors by revealing their exact location in the body.
  • Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET-CT) Scans: It is also known as a PET scan, which is a type of diagnostic test used in cancer treatment.
  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a way to can see the entire large intestine.
  • Bone Scan: It is a test that can help a cancer specialist diagnose problems with your bones.
When should you visit a Cancer Specialist?

Cancer can affect different tissues in the body, producing various signs and symptoms, such as fatigue, weight loss, a persistent cough, and skin changes. Anyone who experiences continuous or worrisome symptoms should consult a cancer specialist immediately. You should visit a cancer specialist if you experience any of the below symptoms:

  • Breast changes: Breast cancer often results in visible changes in the breast tissue.
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods: Irregular vaginal bleeding might signal endometrial or cervical cancers
  • Testicular lumps: A hard, painless lump inside the testicle may indicate testicular cancer.
  • Bowel changes: A persistent change in bowel habits may signal cancers of the rectum or colon, which are collectively referred to as colorectal cancers.
  • Rectal bleeding: Colorectal cancers can lead to bleeding in the digestive system. Stools could contain visible blood or look darker than usual.
  • Urinary changes: Any change in urinary habits is a symptom of both bladder and prostate cancers.
  • Skin cancer: Skin cancer can appear on any part of the skin. However, it mostly appears in areas that have exposure to the sun, like the face, arms, neck, and hands.
  • Lung cancer: Lung cancer may not always produce visible symptoms in its early stages. If symptoms appear, people may mistake them for cold or acute respiratory infections.
What can you expect from your first visit with a Cancer Specialist?

When a patient visits a clinic for the first consultation, the cancer specialist will do a thorough examination. Then, the oncologist will ask some questions and review the patient’s detailed health history. This will include an assessment of the tests and scans the patient might have had beforehand. The cancer specialist can then develop a treatment strategy that suits the patient.

At the first appointment, the cancer specialist will talk to the patient about treatment options. The oncologist will tell which ones are available at present, what the side effects may be, and how effective they are. Then the specialist will recommend a course and then suggest when the treatments should start.

Which are the most common procedures performed by a Cancer Specialist?
  • Immunotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Cryoablation
  • Cancer Surgery
  • Stem Cell Transplant
  • Chemotherapy
  • Clinical trials
  • Precision Medication
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Radiofrequency ablation