The Roles of an Oncologist By Antoinette Ayana An Oncologist is a medical professional who is specifically trained to diagnose and treat various types of cancer. They'll see patients with a variety of cancers that invade many different areas of the body including the lungs, skin, eyes, mouth, tongue, bones, lymph nodes, stomach, and many other organs. This type of doctor is trained to observe the symptoms, determine where the cancer is growing, and develop an effective treatment plan to either eliminate or confine the cancer so it can't get into other areas of the body. In the field of oncology many doctors decide to specialize in one or more treatment areas. Types of Oncology A radiation oncologist is one who plans and oversees radiation treatments for certain types of cancers. He'll develop a plan and work alongside the other members of the radiology team to monitor the patient's progress and adjust the treatment plan as necessary. He'll also help the patient deal with the many possible side effects associated with radiology treatment. These specialists complete nine years of school along with four years of residency which is specifically focused on the field of radiation oncology. They also undergo rigorous examination to become a certified member of the American Board of Radiology. Some oncologists choose to specialize in chemotherapy as their primary treatment for cancer. In some severe cases, both chemotherapy and radiation are used to shrink the tumors growing inside a patient's body. When a tumor can easily be removed without damage to vital organs, a surgical oncologist may also be included in the treatment plan. Surgical removal is typically used when the tumor hasn't spread very far from its original area of growth, so cancer that has spread further than its origin is less likely to be helped through surgery. Even after surgery, other medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation will probably be used to combat remaining cancer cells and prevent further growths. The Vital Partnership of an Oncology Nurse The role of the oncology nurse may be just as vital as the role played by the medical oncologist who plans and performs cancer treatments. The nurse is the one who is constantly assessing the patient's progress, coordinating treatments, educating the patient and his family, and continuing to learn more and more about cancer through specific hours of research on recent developments in the field. An oncology nurse is one of the first medical professionals to meet with the newly diagnosed patient. At that first meeting, take his medical history, look at any lab results that have come into the office, and assess the patient's overall physical and emotional condition. Once treatment is begun, she'll assess his physical and emotional state through the treatment and afterwards. This record allows the doctor to determine the best course of treatment and whether the current course needs to be adjusted. Along with assessment, the oncology nurse is responsible for educating the patient and his family in the treatment that the patient will be receiving. She'll also explain the type of cancer he has and how this treatment will help. Throughout the entire cancer treatment processes, both the nurse and the oncologist will be researching their patient's condition to give him the best care possible. If you are in need of an oncologist anniston has a trusted practitioner you can rely on. To find out more, go to http://www.rmccares.org/services/91.html.