Cancer Treatment Specialists at SVMC
An “oncologist” is a general term for doctor who treats cancer. There are many different types of oncologists. The two most common are “medical oncologist” and “radiation oncologist.” The medical oncologist specializes in treating cancer with potent medicines called “chemotherapy.” The radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with external radiation, such as an X-ray, or internal radiation in the form of a radioactive medicine or implant. Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center has two full-time medical oncologists, a full-time radiation oncologist, and a part-time radiation oncologist.
Cancer Treatment Team
SVMC Radiologists use PET-CT scans to diagnose and monitor cancer.
Cancer treatment involves more than just an oncologist. At SVMC, cancer treatment involves a team of physicians. Radiologists use X-ray, CT-scanning, PET-scanning, MRI and other imaging tests to determine where the cancer is. Sometimes radiologists can also identify the type of cancer. Most of the time, a pathologist determines the type of cancer by looking at a sample of it under a microscope. Then, surgeons or other surgical specialties, such as urology, may be involved if a cancer should be removed surgically. And, oncologists may treat the cancer with drugs or radiation to kill it.
Panel of Experts
At the Cancer Center, all cancer patients have their cases reviewed by an expert panel of doctors called the “Tumor Board.” The SVMC Tumor Board meets monthly and is made up of key cancer treatment specialties: medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, radiologists. Depending on the types of cancers being discussed SVMC’s Tumor Board also may have other specialists, such as a pulmonologist for lung cancer or a urologist for prostate or kidney cancer.
In addition to questions about your specific cancer and treatment options, there are a few questions you can ask to help make sure you’re getting the best cancer treatment:
- Are the doctors treating you board-certified or board-eligible?
- Will your case be reviewed by a team of specialists to help ensure your care is the best available?
- Can you take part in a clinical trial?
- Is the cancer program’s quality assessed by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
Learn More about these Cancer Treatment Specialists at SVMC