TypesAccording to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, an oncologist typically specializes either in a particular method of treating cancer or in treatment of a specific population. The specialties in treatment methods are medical oncology, surgical oncology and radiation oncology. Cancer populations doctors specialize in include children (pediatric oncologists) and women with gynecological cancers (gynecologic oncologists).
Specializing in Treatment MethodsA medical oncologist, as described by the National Cancer Institute, specializes in treating cancer with chemotherapy, biological therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy. Typically, a medical oncologist is the primary health care provider for a person with cancer, and coordinates treatment by other specialists.
Surgical oncologists specialize in all aspects of cancer that require surgery. They take biopsies for microscopic examination and perform surgery to remove cancer.
A radiation oncologist specializes in using radiation therapy to treat cancer.
Specializing in a PopulationPediatric oncologists specialize in treating children who have cancer. They utilize medical, surgical and radiation oncology procedures in their treatment of young people.
A gynecologic oncologist specializes in treating women who have cancer of the reproductive system, such as cervical cancer or breast cancer.