Medical oncology is the ongoing evaluation and management of cancer patients through the treatment of their malignancies with chemotherapy agents and other drugs.
The medical oncology team consists of medical oncologists, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses and other oncology-trained staff. This team plays a major role in a patient's cancer care. They assist patients with side effects they may experience during chemotherapy treatments, offer medical guidance and help patients make decisions throughout their treatment.
Chemotherapy is a common form of cancer treatment. It is most often used to mean taking medicines or drugs to treat cancer. Patients may take these drugs before or after surgery, with radiation treatment, or they may take the drugs by themselves. Chemotherapy drugs may be taken in a pill form, a shot or they may be given intravenously.
Chemotherapy may be taken once a day, once a week, or even once a month, depending on the type of cancer the patient has and the chemotherapy they are taking. How long a patient takes chemotherapy also depends on the type of cancer and what length of time research has shown produces the best treatment results.
Click here to view The Chemotherapy Education Video, which provides an overview of the chemotherapy treatment process and what a patients can expect when beginning chemotherapy.