An oncologist is a doctor who is qualified in the treatment of cancer. He must be fully trained in the various types of cancer and the best treatment for each. He may also specialize in and treat only a specific type of cancer.
An oncologist is trained to know exactly what to look for regarding the symptoms of cancer. She will know which tests must be conducted in order to make an accurate diagnosis. She will then be able to advise the best treatment for each type of cancer.
The oncologist may advise an individual treatment, or there may be a combination of different treatments available to the cancer sufferer. Due to the amount of research undertaken on the causes and treatments of cancer, new information is produced frequently. He must be fully aware of all new research and findings in the field of cancer.
Once an oncology student has completed his training, he must pass certain exams in order to be board certified. These include a written exam and an oral exam, and the work of the oncology student will also be reviewed. An oncologist can choose to specialize in one of the main oncology fields. These are chemotherapy, radiation treatment and surgical oncology. There are also more specific categories of specialization, including the treatment of cancer in children and the treatment of cancer in the female organs.
A surgical oncologist is a doctor who treats cancer through surgical procedures. Training for this position includes a five year surgical residency. Post residency, a three year long fellowship on an oncology program is required. There are only fourteen oncology programs that are approved by the Society of Surgical Oncology.
The training and studying involved in becoming a surgical oncologist is intense. A person in this position must also undertake the latest surgical research in order to give the best treatment advice. During oncology training, combinations of treatments are studied to optimize the chances of reducing or beating cancer. Oncologists from all fields work together in order to give the best patient treatment available. Clinical research, including aggressive treatment alternatives, is also part of the studies undertaken by an oncologist.