Oncologist: Know Everything About Your Cancer Doctor

By Dr. Muzammil Shaikh in Nanavati Max Institute of Cancer Care , Medical Oncology

Apr 24 , 2023 | 3 min read

Being a branch of medicine, Oncology specialises into treating, diagnosing and researching about cancer and due to the advancement in the technology the treatments in India is no longer remained rare in fact, the best hospital in Mumbai have a specialised centre for treatment of cancer-related disease. The treatment involves various medical procedures and hence, requires a speciality team.

So, an oncologist is a medical professional which deals with the cancer patients from diagnosing them with the same to full and final treatment keeping mind the stage and type of treatment of cancer.

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Work of an oncologist

An oncologist’s deals with the cancer patients and plays a vital role in a patient’s life in fighting from cancer:

  • Explain the patient about cancer diagnosed and its current stage.
  • Aware him/her about treatment options available
  • Assisting the patient to handle cancer symptoms and side effects in the best way.
  • Maintaining follow-ups even after the treatment.
  • Counsel patients and preparing them for the treatment

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Dealing with different domains of oncology

The type of treatment wholly depends upon the nature, stage, and location of cancer. So, different oncologists offering their specialized services for treating cancer. The field of oncology has three main divisions-medical, surgical and radiation. There are also several sub-specialities.

  • Medical oncologist

The oncologist who treats cancer using chemotherapy and other medications like targeted therapy or immunotherapy are known as medical oncologists. He is the primary health care provider for a cancer patient who leads the development of the patient’s treatment. He works in conjunction with the other medical departments for ensuring best results.

  • Surgical oncologist

A surgical oncologist is a surgeon who specializes in the surgical removal of cancerous tumours. Generally this deal with the patient who is in their later stages of cancer when the cancer cells collectively form a tumour or enlarged unwanted part. They are also specialized in performing certain types of biopsies to help to diagnose cancer.

  • Radiation oncologist

So, the oncologists who treat cancer through radiation therapy are known as a Radiation oncologist. They execute MRI, CT Scan, Chemotherapy etc with high-energy X-rays to kill the cancerous cells. At times when it’s not possible to completely destroy the cancer cells, oncologists use the radiations to reduce the tumour or slow the tumour growth without affecting the neighbouring tissues known as palliative therapy. At times the radiation oncologists also undertake brachytherapy to treat the cancer patients. The therapy involves the use of radioactive sources which are implanted directly into or next to the tumour. This totally depends upon the type of cancer, the radiation radioactive sources may be left in the place permanently or removed at the end of each treatment session.

Other sub-specialities

  • Gynecologic oncologist

These are doctors who generally deal women and more specifically with the cancers of the female reproductive system. These types of cancer include ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, and more.

  • Pediatric oncologist

As the name suggests pediatric oncologist deals with the cancer problems of children. There are some cancers that mostly affect children and young teenagers like brain tumours, leukaemia, osteosarcoma, and Ewing’s sarcoma.

  • Haematologist-oncologist

Here, theses doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating blood cancers that may include leukaemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

  • Neuro-oncologist

These are dedicated professionals who deal with the cancers related to brain, spine and peripheral nerves.

As there are many specialities and sub-specialities in the field of oncology similarly the best cancer hospitals in Mumbai provide a specialised centre of treatment for each speciality and sub-speciality dealing with cancer.

Medically Reviewed

Dr. Muzammil Shaikh (Director of Medical Oncology)

Dr. Muzammil Shaikh is the Director, Medical Oncology, at Nanavati Max Institute of Cancer Care. He has an experience of over 18 years. He has secured the D.M. Medical Oncology from The Gujarat Cancer & Research Institute and DNB (Medical Oncology) from National Board, New Delhi. Her has completed a perceptorship in metastatic colorectal malignancies, Liverpool, UK and Observership in M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston, Texas, USA. His expertise lay in Carcinoma of Ovary, Lung and Breast, Bone & Soft tissues Sarcomas, Hematolymphoid Malignancies and Head & Neck Cancers among others.