Once a diagnosis of cancer has been made, you will probably talk with your primary care physician along with several cancer specialists, such as a surgeon, a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. You will want to ask these doctors about all your treatment options.
In many cases, your cancer will need to be treated by using more than one type of treatment. For example, if you have a gynecologic cancer, you might you might receive radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells in or near your vagina, uterus or cervix (by a radiation oncologist). You also might receive chemotherapy (by a gynecologic oncologist or medical oncologist) to destroy cancer cells that may have traveled to other parts of the body and can make radiation therapy even more effective. Sometimes, surgery is used to remove the tumor before radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
After reviewing your medical record including imaging, as well as completing a thorough patient history and physical examination, your radiation oncologist will discuss with you the potential benefits and risks of radiation therapy and answer your questions. For a list of questions that you may want to ask, please see the section Questions to Ask Your Doctor.