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Breast, Bone, Brain Cancer Specialist - What is Their Role?

Breast, Bone or Brain Cancer Specialist – What Is Their Job Role And How Can They Help?

Sometimes there is a need to be referred to a cancer specialist when your local GP has spotted something unusual. While this can be worrying for patients, it doesn’t necessarily mean that cancer is always present. However, it is important that the appropriate checks are carried out by a suitable specialist.

Whether this is a bone cancer specialist, a breast cancer specialist or a brain cancer specialist, they will have an important role to play in your medical journey - but before we go into what that role is and how they can help, it’s worth taking the time to explain a little more about cancer itself.

Cancer information – What exactly is it?

According to the NHS, the latest figures suggest that 1 in 2 of us will get some form of cancer in our lifetime. While that may sound pretty ominous, it’s worth pointing out that cancer takes on many forms and affects patients in different ways.

To simplify matters, the term cancer refers to abnormal growth of cells. They can form in organs such as the heart, lungs or kidney, or body structures such as the bone or blood. Cancer cells are tiny in size but can be many in number because they have lost the ability to cease growth. Sometimes these abnormal growths will present in the form of tumours, or they may be detected in other ways like blood tests.

Cancer can develop practically anywhere in the body and this is why there are field specialists (oncologists) who are experts in a particular type of cancer. This could be medical professionals who deal with basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanomas (skin cancer oncologists), leukaemia ( haematologist-oncologists), or multiple myelomas (orthopaedic/bone oncologists).

What about survival rates?

According to cancer research UK, despite the fact that the disease is detected in approximately 1000 new patients every single day, over 50% of cancer cases survive for 10 years or more. While some cancers have a greater survival rate than others, typically, just 40 years ago, survival rates were less than half at approximately 24%. This is due to a rise in advanced research and technology and of course, the expertise of specialist cancer doctors/oncologists.

So what is the job role of an oncologist and how can they help?

An oncologist specialises in diagnosing and treating patients who have cancer. Their job role is to manage a patient’s care throughout the course of the disease. His or her role includes:

  • A thorough description of the diagnosis in patient-friendly terms and an explanation of the staging of the cancer – where it is located, where (if at all) it has spread, and whether it may affect other parts of the body
  • Talking about the various treatment options available and delivering the right and balanced information. This enables the patient to make a fully-informed decision
  • Delivering quality and compassionate care - using the latest technology and techniques available where possible
  • Managing patient symptoms – Helping patients to better manage any symptoms or side effects of both cancer and cancer treatment.

So, whether you need to see a bone cancer specialist, a breast cancer specialist or a brain cancer specialist, although treatment patterns and types will vary, patients will need care management from their specialist oncologist and their team.

What type of oncologists could you expect to see?

Since most cancers are treated using a combination of therapies, there is a strong chance that you will see several different types of oncologists who collaborate to bring about complete patient care. These include:

Medical oncologists

Medical oncologists are trained to treat cancer patients using a variety of hormonal therapies, biological therapies and chemotherapy. Patients will often consider a medical oncologist to be their primary cancer care doctor. They help patients to manage side effects and monitor and maintain patient well-being. In most cases, patients will also follow up with a medical oncologist after their treatment is completed.

Radiation oncologists

If you need radiation treatment as part of your cancer care, then it’s highly likely that you’ll see a radiation oncologist. Many brain cancer specialists are also radiation oncologists. They utilise high-energy photon beams to aid in the destruction of any individual cancer cells. While some cancers respond better to small pockets of radiated material placed within a cancer-cell cluster, other treatments require highly targeted or intense beams of radiation known as radio-surgery.

Surgical oncologists

If a doctor suspects that you may have cancer, then a surgical oncologist is probably one of the first specialists that you will see. Surgical oncologists often run prognosis tests by removing small areas of tissue from the affected area (a biopsy) so that it can be thoroughly checked for the presence of cancer cells. If cells are detected, then you may need to revisit the surgical oncologist for cancer removal surgery. Typically a breast cancer specialist may also be a surgical oncologist.


When you have suspected leukaemia or lymphoma then you may see a haematologist-oncologist. They are trained to detect, diagnose, and treat all types of blood-related cancers. In some cases, they are also able to detect bone cancer and as such, they can then refer you to a bone cancer specialist. In addition, they are trained to assist with other blood-related disorders that are not cancerous such as sickle-cell anaemia and haemophilia. Because of this, patients may be referred to an oncologist even when they don’t have cancer.

It’s worth remembering that oncologists are true specialists in cancer care and cancer treatment. They have access to the latest proven treatment, techniques and drugs and are the ‘go-to’ medical professionals for cancer care.

Here at UK-Oncology we’re dedicated to helping you find the right oncologist for you. Whether that’s a top breast cancer specialist, a local bone cancer specialist or a renowned brain cancer specialist, we give you access to some of the best experts in cancer treatment across the UK. To find out more, make an enquiry by visiting our website at UK-Oncology-com today.

Bone, brain or Breast Cancer Consultant – Why Speed Matters

Back in 2009, a 14-year-long global study was completed which surveyed over 25 million cancer patients and their outcomes. The aim of the study was to initiate a worldwide surveillance of survival rates across a variety of cancer types which was in reality, previously unknown.  

After a huge undertaking and many years in the planning, findings strongly suggested that people who suffer from cancer have a significantly better chance of a positive health outcome in countries where they have direct access to a cancer specialist or consultant.

Whether this is a bone cancer consultant, a brain cancer consultant, or a breast cancer consultant isn’t important. The key point is that direct access saves lives!

What the survey showed

Initial research involved 279 cancer registries spread across 67 countries and figures stated that there was as much as an 11% difference in one-year survival rates in those people who had direct access to an experienced consultant.

To put this into perspective, in the UK alone, over 360,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year – that’s a little under 990 people every single day! Given those rates, a further 39,600 potential lives could be saved by seeing a cancer-specific specialist earlier on in their cancer journey.

Here at UK Oncology, we’ve also experienced first-hand the positive impact our direct and speedy access service has had on patients. We give people the chance to seek out the best cancer specialists/consultants in the UK without the need to be referred to a GP.

For many of our customers, this had led to cancer being detected earlier and as a result, has reduced the need for invasive or complex treatments and inevitably, improved outcomes.

Why speed matters!

There is no denying that early diagnosis and treatment saves lives. Data shows, for example, that 95% of patients with stage 1 bowel cancer will survive for 5 years or more, but this is reduced to just 7% if the condition isn’t diagnosed until stage 4.

Understandably, individuals may feel nervous or worried about visiting their local GP with potential symptoms and this is another reason why a direct access approach works so well…

By providing an alternative route to help, patients can benefit from access to some of the best breast cancer consultants, bone cancer consultants and brain cancer consultants in the country. These are specialists who are leaders in their field, many of whom themselves have access to ground-breaking treatments and techniques related to your condition.

Take breast cancer, for example. A report from the Royal College of Surgeons states that just 48% of women were offered reconstructive surgery in 2018/19 after breast removal. Even then, they weren’t always offered the latest proven techniques such as DIEP reconstruction. This could be down to the cost of the treatment and the limited expertise of those who can perform it.

Irrespective of surgical techniques however, perhaps the most important factor is that highly skilled specialists can pick up on signs or symptoms that other doctors may inadvertently miss or misdiagnose.

Historically, for example, some cancers are more difficult to diagnose than others. Brain cancer is a case in point. If a tumour occurs in unobvious areas of the brain it can cause vague symptoms which are extremely easy to misdiagnose or worse still, miss altogether. These include a clumsiness of the hand when performing day to day tasks or subtle changes in personality.

As such, the patient in question would stand a much better chance of a sound and proper diagnosis and inevitably, a higher probability of survival, if they were being treated by a brain cancer consultant in the very early stages. 

Getting a second opinion 

At UK Oncology, in addition to direct and speedy access to top specialists for diagnosis, patients can also meet with our consultants to get a second opinion. This gives patients the chance to discuss their condition with a bone cancer consultant, a breast cancer consultant or any other cancer-specific consultants when they are not happy with an initial diagnosis.

As the prevalence of cancer increases, so too does the increased demand for the right diagnosis and early treatment. As a result, it makes real sense that every person has easy and speedy access to top specialists that deliver fast, effective and life-saving care.

To find out more, or if you would like to book a consultation, visit our website at today. We can help you to find the right specialists for your condition.

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