• When to get an oncologist

    Asked by Blackmama on Monday, June 3, 2013

    When to get an oncologist

    When should I be seeing an oncologist in this process? I was diagnosed with cancer two weeks ago by my pulmonologist and then by my thoracic surgeon. He says I need surgery. I asked him when I needed to see an oncologist and he said I did not really need one at this point. Only if I needed chemo AFTER the surgery would I need an oncologist. In your experience, does this sound correct? I really thought I would need to at least have an oncologist at this point to just simply put in his two cents worth, if nothing else. Blackmama

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      Every case is different. Perhaps someone will pitch in with their experience who has the same type of cancer as you have. In my case, I was diagnosed with colon cancer and my GI and surgeon both told me that surgery would determine whether the cancer was contained in my colon or had spread to the lymph nodes, which would require me to have chemo. I did not have to meet with an oncologist under after my surgery.

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Every case is different. I never saw an oncologist when I had stage 1 kidney cancer, the surgery was all I needed as the tumor was completely encapsulated and no nodes were involved. When I was diagnosed with stage 1 TNBC I saw the breast oncologist first, and he recommended the surgeon who performed my lumpectomy.

      If you feel uncomfortable not seeing an oncologist before surgery then ask for a referral and see one.

      over 3 years ago
    • hogfan03's Avatar

      I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and met with a gyno oncologist 6 days later. We met and discussed my options which was surgery and no chemo or radiation. It was confirmed after my path results came back to verify the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes. I went to the oncologist because of the type of cancer I had and my gyno was not sure of my options. If you are uncomfortable get the referral of an oncologist to discuss what options there are for your type of cancer.

      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Hello. With his first lung cancer, my dad did not see an oncologist until after his surgery, because the chemotherapy is what they call adjuvant. It comes after the surgery for your lung cancer. Dad first met an oncologist while in the hospital recovering from his surgery, and we took it from there.

      At any rate, the real deal is whatever your pathology reports and radiology reports say, because an oncologist will look at those. Your course is the same as the course dad took-- his general practitioner sent him to a pulmonologist. The pulmonologist sent him to the thoracic surgeon. Then the hospital had an oncologist step in to advise on the next step. They arranged a follow up appointment with the oncologist right from the hospital in dad's case.

      It sounds correct to me. Focus on your surgery. I think that's probably the most important thing for you right now.

      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      (There were also follow up appointments at the surgeon's office, and pulmonologist's office.)

      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
    • Journey's Avatar

      Hi Blackmama,
      I was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer. After many tests and scans I had the surgery first and then the chemotherapy. I did see the medical oncologist before my surgery because there was the possibility that it had spread to my bones. Generally, the surgeon will not preform lung surgery if the cancer is not incapsulated (meaning no surgery for stage 4), or if the surgeon thinks the patient is too ill to recover from surgery. My surgeon thought I was a good candidate for the surgery - tumor contained, good pulmonary function, never smoked, thin, healthy, and he thought it did not go to the bones. I had a bone biopsy to determine whether to have surgery or not. The bone biopsy came out OK. (However, the medical oncologist explained to me that I might still have met. disease in the bones. The sample was very small and it is difficult to hit the correct location with the bone biopsy needle.) I then went in for surgery and soon after surgery I started 4 months of chemotherapy. I also was getting 2 years of bone medicine for met. disease of the bones. What I want to say is that every case is different. Good luck.

      over 3 years ago

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