Medical oncologists are responsible for overseeing the treatment of patients with cancer. This involves discussing therapeutic options, supervising systemic treatments and supporting patients through their care.
Patients are living longer with more complex treatments and therefore the specialty is one of the fastest growing. Most consultants will specialise in one to three tumour types, and acute oncology allows specialist input and advice to acutely unwell patients.
Medical oncologists are involved in the care of patients with cancer from first diagnosis through treatment to survivorship or transition to palliative care. It is therefore an extremely rewarding speciality where continuity of care means that medical oncologists are able to establish excellent relationships with their patients, often over many years.
Improving the survival of patients with cancer is a key role for medical oncologists and therefore patients will be on novel treatments and clinical trials. This makes clinical research an important feature and a significant proportion of trainees therefore undertake higher degrees. This can take many forms – including lab, translational or clinical trial-based research. As a result oncology is a dynamic and challenging speciality, which brings with it much variety.
Training in medical oncology involves rotating through and learning about the management of all the major types of cancer. This includes becoming competent in the supervision of systemic treatments, which incorporates chemotherapy, endocrine therapy and newer biological agents (such as antibodies and immunotherapy). Furthermore, with the multi-disciplinary approach of cancer care trainees learn the complex care pathways and multi-modality nature of treatments. Please get in touch through contacts below for further information about training in this exciting specialty in Wales.