Clinical oncology relates to any type of cancer treatment that is not surgery, including radiotherapy and systemic therapies. Clinical oncologists are doctors who use radiotherapy and chemotherapy to treat and manage patients with cancer. They also use a range of other treatments to treat cancers, without using surgery.
Clinical oncologists determine which treatment to use by considering a range of factors including tumour type, the site of the tumour, the stage of the disease and the patient’s general health. They then assess the relative merits of different treatments before presenting these to the patient so that an informed decision can be made.
Clinical oncologists undergo training in the management of all types of cancer but increasingly concentrate on treating one or two types of cancer as a consultant. These are known as site specialties (as there are no sub-specialties in clinical oncology) and include: