Information about Cancer Treatments and Trials in the West Anglia Region
Specialist cancer doctors are called oncologists.
There are 3 main specialties within oncology and several sub-specialties based on the treatment they provide. Please see below for further information:
- Clinical oncologists:
Deliver systemic treatments, such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radioisotopes and administer radiotherapy to treat patients with both curative and palliative aims.
- Medical oncologists:
Provide the same treatments as a clinical oncologist, but do not administer radiotherapy.
- Surgical oncologists:
Specialise in the surgical management of cancers.
Oncologists may also have a specialist interest and expertise in the management of particular types of cancer, e.g. gastrointestinal tract cancers or urological cancers:
- Gynecological oncologist:
Focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the female reproductive system, including ovary, endometrium, uterus, cervix, vagina, vulva and trophoblastic disease.
Diagnose and treat cancers of the blood and lymphatic system. These include myeloma, lymphomas, Hodgkin’s disease, chronic lymphatic leukaemia, and acute and chronic leukaemias.
Identify which type of cancer a patient has and at the stage of disease progresion, by microscopic study of body tissues and cells obtained by surgeons through biopsy procedures.
- Paediatric oncologist:
Concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in children.
- Palliative care specialist:
Provides care for patients whose illness cannot be cured. This includes management of pain and other symptoms and provision of of psychological, social and spiritual support. The goal of palliative care is achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families, from diagnosis, through treatment, to cure, continuing illness or death and into bereavement. Many aspects of palliative care are also applicable earlier in the course of the illness in conjunction with other treatments.
- Radiation oncologist:
Specialises in the study and application of imaging technologies, such ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) Computed Axial Tomography, nuclear medicine, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) to diagnose or treat cancers.