What is an oncologist?

An oncologist is a doctor that specialises in the treatment of cancer. There are two sub-types – a medical oncologist, who specialises in the administration of chemotherapy drugs, and a clinical oncologist who also has training in the administration of radiotherapy.

In modern cancer therapy, chemotherapy drugs are often used in combination with radiotherapy (as the chemotherapy sensitises the tumour cells to the effects of the radiotherapy). The optimum combination of treatment for individual patients is usually discussed in the pancreatico-biliary multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting each week, when the pros and cons of each mode of therapy is discussed with the pancreatic surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and specialist nurses.

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