Nature of the work
Medical oncology is the diagnosis, assessment,
treatment and management of patients with cancer. Physicians
trained in this specialty aim to provide the best possible outcome
for cancer patients, whether that is cure, or palliation and
prolongation of good quality life. They also provide counselling
for patients and their families.
Working in medical oncology
Medical oncologists discuss treatment options
with patients, supervise the therapy and manage any complications
of disease and/or treatment that may arise. All patient management
is achieved in consultation with other clinicians.
Specialists use drugs in the treatment of
cancer, and administer therapies to patients. They use high-level
communication skills to fully involve patients in treatment
decisions, and counsel patients and families on cancer genetics,
screening and preventative measures.
Medical and clinical oncologists often work in
partnership together, and clinical oncology covers both the
therapeutic administration of ionising radiation (radiotherapy) and
cytotoxic chemotherapy. However, only clinical oncologists
Common procedures / interventions
Medical oncologists are trained in the
integration of systemic therapies, such as:
- Endocrine therapy.
- Biological therapy.
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