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 cancer of the head and neck, you might also have surgery to remove the tumor (by a ears nose & throat or oral surgeon) first, followed by radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy. You also might receive radiation on its own (by a radiation oncologist), chemotherapy (by a medical oncologist) or targeted therapy to destroy cancer cells that may have traveled to other parts of the body and to make the radiation therapy more effective.
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.