What Does an Oncologist Do?


An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in cancer care. They identify cancer and find ways to treat it. They work closely with you to develop an effective care plan.

Types of oncologists

Not all oncologists are the same. They focus on different areas of care. Some do tissue biopsies and surgeries. Some deal with things like chemotherapy and biologic therapy. And some focus on radiation therapy.

Types of tests

There are many types of cancer, and your care plan may involve a wide range of tests and treatments. Your oncologist starts by finding out all they can about your cancer. They often do this with things like MRIs, CT scans and blood tests. They may take a sample of the cells so they can study the cancer directly. We call this a "biopsy." Your oncologist uses all of this info to develop a care plan that's right for you.

Working with you

A big part of an oncologist's job is sharing info with you. So they teach you about your cancer. They make sure you know about all of your care options. They explain how these options can affect you. They help you during treatment. And they give you the support you need as you recover.


Your oncologist is a key part of your cancer care team. For more info about cancer treatment, talk to your doctor.