What is the Difference Between a Medical Oncologist and a Radiation Oncologist?
A medical oncologist is a doctor who specializes in treating people with cancer and is responsible for a patient from the moment of a cancer diagnosis throughout the course of the disease. A medical oncologist must first complete residency training in Internal Medicine and then complete a fellowship in Medical Oncology. The medical oncologist works with the patient and their family to educate them about a cancer diagnosis and their treatment options.
A medical oncologist is also an expert in drug and hormone cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and will put together a customized chemotherapy plan as needed for their patients. Often a combination of chemotherapy drugs are used to treat cancers and the medical oncologist determines which medicines will work best to combat the disease.
Medical oncologists often work in conjunction with other oncology specialists to create an integrated treatment program for patients. This approach is used because cancer treatment frequently involves a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy.
Radiation oncology is a medical specialty that involves treating cancer with radiation and Radiation Oncologists must first complete residency training in Radiation Oncology. Radiation oncologists are the doctors who manage your radiation therapy treatments. The radiation oncologist works with other members of the radiation therapy team such a medical physicist and radiation therapist to develop your treatment plan and make sure that each treatment is given accurately. The radiation oncologist is also responsible for monitoring your progress and will adjust the treatment plan as necessary to make sure the radiation is effective while minimizing side effects. Before, during and after your radiation therapy treatments, your radiation oncologist will work closely with other cancer doctors, such as medical oncologists and surgeons to make sure the radiation treatment in conjunction with chemotherapy and/or surgery results are optimal.
Radiation therapy uses carefully targeted and regulated doses of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and/or reduce pain. Radiation also works to prevent the cancerous cells from reproducing. At CyberKnife Center of Miami our highly-trained, radiation oncologists are specialty trained to irradiate tumors using CyberKnife Radiosurgery Therapy also known as SBS and SBRT. The CyberKnife radiosurgery treatment destroys tumors with extremely precise, very intense doses of radiation while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. This treatment is used to treat tumors of the brain, spine, lung, kidney, liver, prostate, pancreas, metastatic cancers, head & neck and other functional disorders such as trigeminal neuralgia.