Specialist spotlight; what is an oncologist


When your GP suspects that you may have cancer you will be (under normal circumstances) be referred to a specialist who has trained specifically in this area and can diagnose, assess, treat and manage patients with cancer. These specialists are referred to as oncologists.

A medical oncologist will treat many different cancer conditions including:



  • Colorectal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Urological cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Leukaemia

Your oncologist has a specific role including diagnosing cancer, discussing treatment paths with you to ensure you understand your options, arranging and overseeing drug treatment and therapies and supporting you as the patient. They can help deal with any complications that arise during your treatment.

The aim of a medical oncologist is to provide the best possible outcome for cancer patients whether this is to achieve a cure, palliation or prolonging a good quality of life. They can also provide counselling for patients and their families.

Oncologists and clinical research

Clinical research is an important feature of their role. Clinical care, clinical trials, laboratory and translational cancer research form an integral part of the training. They are trained to work as part of a multidisciplinary team, able to advise on all aspects of treatment including surgery and radiotherapy as well as having the skills to administer systemic therapies.

Common procedures/ interventions include:

Chemotherapy: This is a treatment for cancer patients with drugs that destroy the cancer cells.

Endocrine therapy: This can also be referred to hormone therapy or hormone treatments.

Biological therapies such as antibodies, small molecules and immunotherapy which is a type of drug treatment.

The above information has been sourced from https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/medicine/medical-oncology

*All cancers are different and some people will only have one type of treatment recommended by their oncologist however most will have a combination of treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

*Information sourced from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/type

If you are looking for a private hospital facility that can offer the services of a qualified and registered oncologist then the Medigest Business Directory may be able to help you. To find out more about private hospitals in your area, please visit https://www.medigest.uk/directory/



SMP Healthcare