Oncology is the study of cancer, and doctors who specialize in caring for patients with cancer are called oncologists. Phelps Health offers exceptional oncology services at the Delbert Day Cancer Institute (DDCI) with highly trained medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurse practitioners, nurses who are certified in oncology care, therapists, dosimetrists, technologists, research nurses, doctors of pharmacology, certified pharmacy technicians and more. The DDCI also has a social worker, dietitian, nurse navigator, financial counselor and tumor registrar to assist patients.
Differences between Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology
Medical oncology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Oncology is one of the most rapidly changing fields of medicine. Innovative treatments including intravenous, oral medications and targeted therapies (non-chemotherapy drugs that are designed to treat very specific tumor types) used in addition to traditional chemotherapy. Medical oncology provides multidisciplinary treatment, meaning there are many people involved in a cancer patient’s care. Phelps Health medical oncologists, nurses and staff coordinate a patient’s treatment and therapy, which may include chemotherapy, targeted agents, surgery, radiation therapy, genetics testing, counseling and palliative or supportive care.
Radiation oncology involves treating cancer with radiation. Radiation oncologists are physicians who specialize in treating cancer with radiation, and radiation therapy is used to treat numerous types of cancers. Radiation therapy uses targeted, high levels of energy or particles to kill cancer cells. Patients receiving radiation therapy often make daily trips to the cancer center to receive treatment. The Phelps Health DDCI provides exceptional radiation therapy close to home, which alleviates the need for patients and their families to have to travel long distances during treatment.