Oncologists are physicians who manage patients with cancer. It is a term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.
Oncologists diagnose and assess stages of cancer, recommend and implement appropriate treatment plans and continually monitor progress. The job of an oncologist involves managing or treating bone tumours, brain tumours, malignant melanomas, pancreatic cancer, lymphomas and so on. An oncologist treats different cancerous conditions based on the tumour stage with hormone therapy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. An oncologist job includes obtaining diagnostic tests such as CT scan, biopsy, MRI, X-rays, to determine the level of tumour progression. They usually work long hours and at times are on call.
- High levels of intelligence and self-discipline.
- Expert knowledge in the areas of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy and targeted treatments.
- To be able to make good clinical judgements under difficult and emotional circumstances.
- To be able to effectively counsel and advise patients.
- To work as part of a multidisciplinary team and in some cases, manage that team.
- A willingness to continue to engage in professional development, study and training.
- Excellent communication skills.
- To be able to work under pressure.
- Sensitivity, understanding and to be trustworthy.
Must first obtain a medical degree and then undertake further training.
The pay scale of an oncologist ranges between AUD$152,000 – AUD$205,000 per annum.