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What is medical oncology?

Medical oncology is the study and treatment of malignant diseases and cancers. It is a subspecialty of internal medicine. In most cases, medical oncologists see patients who have already been diagnosed with cancer by a previous physician or specialist.

Medical oncology uses medical interventions to treat the cancer through a systemic approach—meaning that medicine travels throughout the body, unlike radiation and surgery which are directed to a single site. The type of medicine is determined by the particular cancer diagnosis, but it often includes chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy. While some medications are taken at home, most chemotherapy treatments are given by an IV in the physician’s office.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.