Oncology Frequently Asked Questions
What is an oncologist?
An oncologist is a highly-trained doctor who specializes in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Oncologists also help you devise treatment plans for cancer by using reports that detail your cancer’s type, development, the likelihood of spreading, and areas of the body affected.
With most cancers more effectively treated by using a variety of therapies, you may see several kinds of oncologists throughout your cancer treatment.
Your first line of defense is to visit your primary care physician (PCP). If your PCP suspects that you have cancer, or if signs of cancer are revealed in tests or imaging, they will refer you to an oncologist for diagnosis and treatment.
The signs and symptoms of cancer vary from person to person and depend on the type of cancer you may have, so it’s best to keep an eye out for some common symptoms, including:
- A cough or hoarse throat that doesn’t improve or go away
- A high fever that lasts more than 3 days
- Fatigue that doesn’t get better with rest
- Pain that lasts for days and doesn’t go away or improve with treatment
- The presence of blood in your stool or urine
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unusual changes in your skin’s appearance, either in color or texture
Because the symptoms of cancer are so varied, check out these additional resources: