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Oncologist

The oncologist is an expert in the field of diagnosis and therapy of neoplastic tumors. The tumor can appear in any organ, for this reason the doctor of various specializations is engaged in solving the oncology problem: dermatologists, gynecologists, otolaryngologists, etc.

The medical term for oncology comes from the Greek "ónkos" - a tumor. Oncology is a science that studies the causes of formation, features of the course and mechanisms of proliferation of benign or malignant formations, and also develops ways to prevent the development of pathology and methods of treatment.

In the treatment of cancer, modern medicine has surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal, immunological and radiotherapy. The oncologist perfectly possesses one of the listed methods, having knowledge in adjacent methods of recovery. It often takes a consultation to draw up a treatment regimen.

Who is an oncologist?

An oncologist is a difficult profession. Malignant tumors develop imperceptibly, are difficult to treat and are characterized by rapid growth, so a doctor needs to be a general practitioner. It is important to note that each oncologist makes an irreplaceable contribution to science, sharing his clinical knowledge, experience and discoveries.

These specialists work in oncological centers of hospitals, specialized oncological institutions, research institutes.

Who is an oncologist? First, a doctor with knowledge of the symptoms, the causes of the onset, the specifics of the development of cancer, owning diagnostic methods and therapeutic and preventive techniques. Secondly, the oncologist is a psychologist who knows how to communicate even with dying patients. The doctor's ability to adjust the patient to recovery largely depends on therapeutic progress and the possibility of healing.

Classification of oncologists depending on possible treatment: 

  • surgical treatment - excision of the neoplasm; 
  • drug therapy - the use of pharmacological substances (chemotherapy); 
  • radiation (radiation therapy)
  • interventional intervention - minimally invasive therapy through visual control; 
  • Pediatric (diagnosis and treatment of children with cancers). 
  • gynecological (therapy of tumors of female reproductive organs);

When should I go to an oncologist?

The formation of a cancerous tumor at a certain stage is characterized by a specific symptomatology. The list of conditions when it is necessary to address to the oncologist: 

  • detection of bleeding (impurities of blood in feces and urine, frequent bleeding from the nose, bloody expiration of the sexual sphere); 
  • a sharp decrease in body weight if nutrition and lifestyle remain the same; 
  • detection of neoplasm on the skin, transformation or proliferation of an existing birthmark, warts, etc. (change in shape, color, presence of bleeding); •
  • a subcutaneous compaction is probed, for example, in the area of the mammary glands; 
  • growth, inflammation of the lymph nodes; 
  • chills, feverish condition (continues for a long time, occurs paroxysmally, repeatedly repeated); 
  • pain syndrome of incomprehensible etiology is revealed; 
  • headache, coordination disorders, auditory and visual disorders; 
  • uncommon discharge from the nipples, impurities and inclusions in the stool; 
  • frequent, causeless disorders of stools; 
  • loss of appetite, decrease in overall working capacity and health status, nausea without pathology on the part of the digestive tract; 
  • a feeling of discomfort for a long period of time - pressure in the chest area, fettering / choking in the throat, squeezing feeling in the peritoneum and pelvis.

If the course of treatment due to malignant formation is over, the oncologist will give out a plan for preventive visits and planned inspections. On the control of this specialist there are also patients with cirrhosis of the liver, mastopathy, intestinal polyposis.

What tests should I take when I go to an oncologist?

On a visit to an oncologist you need to take the results of previous studies and diagnostics, if any.

What tests should I take when I go to an oncologist? In order to differentiate the neoplasm, clarify the diagnosis and determine the strategy of treatment may be required: 

  • the study of blood, urine, excreted; 
  • blood test for oncomarkers
  • detection of the degree of sensitivity of cancer cells to the planned therapeutic effect; 
  • X-ray; 
  • computer, magnetic resonance imaging; 
  • Ultrasound examination; 
  • colonoscopy; 
  • mammography; 
  • cytology and biopsy.

The oncologist determines the methods of diagnosis individually for each specific case.

What diagnostic methods does the oncologist use?

Diagnosis is the most important stage of oncology, which allows us to reveal the localization of the tumor neoplasm during the examination. To establish the diagnosis helps the history of the disease with characteristic complaints and specific symptoms (sudden weight loss, fatigue, causeless fever or anemia, paraneoplastic pneumonia, etc.).

What diagnostic methods does the oncologist use? To clarify / confirm the medical report apply: 

  • incision / excision study of tissues for the presence of cancer cells (biopsy); 
  • endoscopic examination of the gastrointestinal tract; 
  • nasoendoscopy and bronchoscopy; 
  • X-ray method, ultrasound (ultrasound), computer (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); 
  • technology of nuclear medicine - scintigraphy, positron emission tomography (PET); 
  • a blood test for the detection of specific tumor markers that characterize certain types of tumors and are inherent in a number of diseases.

These methods help to solve the problem of the patient's operability, i.e. The possibility of complete excision of the tumor focus.

Cytological and histological analysis of tissues allows differentiating cancer cells.

The oncologist faces relapses of cancer (the presence of metastases, pathology of lymph nodes, etc.), when it is impossible to identify the source tumor. In this case, use the principles of empirical therapy, based on past experience with the identified root cause.

What does an oncologist do?

The oncologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of precancerous and cancers.

So, what does the oncologist do: 

  • diagnoses any type of neoplasm and establishes a diagnosis; 
  • has a therapeutic effect through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, etc .; 
  • observes patients after positive results of therapy; 
  • provides palliative care for patients with advanced cancer; 
  • conducts ethical issues related to cancer; 
  • reveals oncology at an early stage (screening) among risk groups, which include close relatives of cancer patients, as well as cases of hereditary malignancies (for example, breast cancer).

The primary reception of a specialist includes: 

  • collection of anamnesis based on patient complaints; 
  • visual examination and palpation; 
  • referral to specific tests (according to indications - ultrasound, puncture and biopsy, blood delivery for detection of oncomarkers, computer tomogram, mammography, etc.)

It is important to note the ethics of oncology practice. The oncologist should clearly understand: 

  • how much information can be given to a particular patient (including degree, disease progression and expected predictions); 
  • involvement in clinical trials, especially untreatable patients; 
  • the possibility of the patient refusing active therapy; 
  • unwillingness of the patient to go to intensive care, as well as the expression of a desire to leave life.

All these aspects are inextricably linked with personal, cultural, religious and family values. To resolve and smooth out all dilemmas, the oncologist must have receptivity and high communication qualities.

What diseases does the oncologist treat?

What diseases does the oncologist treat? The specialist deals with problems: 

  • leukemia of acute form - a violation of blood formation during the spread of immature blast cells of the bone marrow; 
  • melanoma of the skin - malignancy of pigmented lesions;
  • lymphogranulomatosis - the primary cancerous focus is formed in the lymphatic system, spreads to nearby organs through metastasis; 
  • Myeloma disease - a malignant type of tumor is localized in the bone marrow. It causes the destruction of bone tissue, often covers nearby organs; 
  • sarcoma of soft tissues - cancer of the muscular, fatty, synovial and other extraskeletal structures; 
  • neoplasm of neuroendocrinal nature - gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, mammary glands, lungs, etc. Include formations of gastroenteropancreatic species, carcinoid
  • malignant mediastinal formations - the location of cancer in the chest (lung); 
  • the formation of the central nervous system - tumors grow in the spinal cord / brain, as well as their membranes; 
  • myoma of the uterus - a common tumor neoplasm of a benign appearance.

Advice from an oncologist

Malignant type of education is easier to treat in the early stages, so the oncologist's task is the timely detection of pathology. As you know, any disease is better to prevent. In the case of tumor cells, such a possibility is provided by preventive examinations, methods of self-examination, as well as the advice of an oncologist, which covers: 

  • maintaining weight in the norm - experimentally proved that cases of obesity increase the risk of cancerous tumors; 
  • physical activity - sports (elementary walking) help burn excess calories and have a beneficial effect on the overall health; 
  • reduction in fat intake - abuse of fatty foods leads to cancer of the breast and prostate gland, as well as of the large intestine; 
  • adherence to the principle of separate food; 
  • increase the intake of vegetables, fruits, cereals and cereals, rich in fiber and vitamins. These products reduce the predisposition to oncological diseases. Fiber accelerates the process of digestion of food, so the available carcinogens are less in contact with the intestinal mucosa; 
  • moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages (no more than 50ml per day) - addiction to alcohol threatens oncology of the oral cavity, esophagus, breast and liver; 
  • restraint before smoked foods - increase the level of carcinogens; 
  • avoid food with nitrates and nitrites (products grown near highways, metallurgical plants, CHP) - in conjunction with protein food, with appropriate acidity, produce dangerous carcinogens; 
  • refusal to smoke - a harmful habit causes oncology of the lungs, promotes cancer of the digestive tract, breast, etc.

If you have worrisome, alarming symptoms, do not waste time in vain, experiencing and aggravating your emotional state. Being a highly qualified specialist, an oncologist will dispel your fears or appoint competent treatment. Remember that during a diagnosed cancer is a treatable disease.

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Medical expert editor

Portnov Alexey Alexandrovich

Education: Kiev National Medical University. A.A. Bogomolets, Specialty - "General Medicine"

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