Medical Oncology focuses on cancer treatment using chemotherapy or other types of medication, such as hormone therapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy. A medical oncologist will often serve as your primary cancer care specialist, and will coordinate overall treatments and other medical specialists.
Following a diagnosis of cancer, the medical oncology team at Edwards Cancer Center will help you understand your diagnosis, explain your treatment options, map out a customized course of therapy and help you manage the side effects of any treatment.
Edwards Cancer Center uses a variety of diagnostic tests can help determine if you have cancer, and can help identify the type and stage of the cancer, including X-rays, 3D digital mammography, 3D digital bronchoscopy, 3T MRI, colonoscopy and surgical biopsies.
Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy are the most common treatment options for cancer. The medical oncology team at Edwards Cancer Center will offer specific treatment recommendations based on the stage and type of cancer.
Surgical procedures are often used to diagnose, prevent and treat cancer. A surgical biopsy is often taken to exam the tissue and determine the type of cancer and how far it has advanced. When cancers are in early stages or have not spread to other parts of the body, surgeons have a high success rate of removing or eliminating the cancer.
Chemotherapy, also called chemo, involves the use of drugs to treat cancer, and is commonly prescribed for nearly all cancers. The patient’s age and overall health, along with the type and stage of the cancer, will help determine which drugs are best for fighting the disease. Chemotherapy is most commonly administered as an injection or by infusion through a thin tube called a catheter. Occasionally, pills, capsules or topical creams are used to administer chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy refers to the use of targeted high-energy particles to eliminate existing cancer cells, slowing the growth or stopping its return. There are two types of radiation therapy, external beam radiation and internal radiation therapy.
Targeted therapy attempts to use specific antibodies or specialized drugs to attack the cancer cells and destroy them.
Immunotherapy is a relatively new discipline, where treatments attempt to support the body’s own immune system and help it fight the cancer cells. It does this by marking the cancer cells so the natural immune system can find and fight them.