An oncologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer. They act as the primary healthcare provider for people with cancer to coordinate and manage their treatment. The American Cancer Society predict around 1.8 million new cancer diagnoses in 2020. Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in the United States, but survival rates continue to improve due to advances in cancer detection, treatment, and management. People with cancer will typically work with a team of healthcare providers, including nurses, dietitians, pathologists, and oncologists. Oncologists specialize in one of three major areas of oncology: medical, surgical, or radiation. Oncologists can specialize in treating cancers that affect specific populations or parts of the body. Some examples of oncology specialties include: *gastrointestinal oncology
* geriatric oncology
* gynecologic oncology
* musculoskeletal oncology
* pediatric oncology
Doctors must meet specific education and experience requirements to become a licensed oncologist. The education requirements for oncologists include a 4 year bachelor’s degree and 4 years of training at an accredited medical school. Most people do not begin training in oncology until they finish medical school. Oncology is a subspecialty of internal medicine. After graduating from medical school, future oncologists must complete a residency program typically in internal medicine or general surgery followed by a fellowship in their chosen oncology subfield. An oncologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing cancer. Oncologists possess the highly specialized knowledge necessary for diagnosing and treating cancer. Many oncologists hone their practice further by specializing in certain types of cancer or cancer treatments. A primary care physician may refer someone to an oncologist for further testing or treatment. A person can expect to work with a group of healthcare professionals while they receive treatment.