An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in the area of oncology, which is concerned with the diagnosis of cancer in a patient. If you have received a diagnosis of cancer, then you need to know what to expect, and you also need to know how to cope with it.
It has been estimated that half of all males and a third of all females in the United States will be given the news at some point in their lives that nobody wants to hear: that they have cancer. Very often, a cancer diagnosis comes out of nowhere and is not something that the person expected to hear. It can be scary to hear such news.
If this happens to you then bring a trusted member of your inner circle with you to talk with the oncologist or your primary care physician. This is a personal crisis, and you should not have to go through it alone. Once you hear the word "cancer" spoken by the healthcare provider, your brain is likely to tune out everything said afterwards. You need someone with you who can act as your advocate and will be able to retain all of the relevant information that is provided. Take someone with you who is understanding, supportive and reliable. You also want to take someone with you who is strong and a person you will be able to lean on.
Learn everything you can about the cancer that you have. Find out every detail that you can so you can be prepared for what is to come. Find out the name of the cancer, the location of it in your body and the size of it. You also want to find out where it got started and if it has spread to other areas (or if it has the potential to do so). Ask the oncologist if it is an aggressive form of cancer or one that grows very slowly. Find out what the treatment options are and what the success rate of each treatment is. It also helps to inquire about possible side effects from the treatments. You need to get an accurate assessment and understanding of what you are dealing with and how best to treat it.
When you should consult with a specialist in cancer is dependent upon the kind of cancer that you have been diagnosed with, as well as the stage it is in and the treatment options that are open to you. Cancer can take many forms and not all of them necessitate visiting an oncologist. For instance, if you are diagnosed with basal cell skin cancer, then it can be surgically removed and the likelihood that it will return is very slim. For the majority of types of cancers, consulting with an oncologist is recommended. This is something that your family doctor will talk over with you.