An oncologist is a specialist in the care of patients with cancer. We frequently become involved early in an individual's illness if there is a question about whether a person has cancer or to help determine what particular type of cancer an individual might have.
After a patient has been diagnosed with cancer, we assist in deciding what tests need to be done to determine the extent of the cancer and, most importantly, to recommend the most appropriate treatment.
If the best treatment involves the use of chemotherapy (drugs given to treat cancer), then we will be supervising that treatment, given either in our office or in the outpatient clinic of our local hospitals. We advise about the best treatment options, the appropriate doses of the treatment, and monitor the safety of the treatment for our patients.
We are primarily involved in the care of adults with cancer. Our patients may have any kind of cancer. The following types are very common: lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lymphoma, myeloma and leukemia. We also are involved in the care of patients with malignant melanoma. In general, superficial skin cancers are best handled by dermatologists. Although we are willing to assist in the treatment plan of children with cancer, we participate in the care of children only on referral from a cancer specialty hospital.