Difference between Oncologist and Hematologist

Key Difference: An Oncologist is a medical doctor who is specialist in oncology, which means that he treats people suffering from cancer. Hematologist is a physician who specializes in Hematology, which means that he deals with the medical conditions related to the physiology of the blood.

An Oncologist in a doctor specialized in oncology which is a branch of science dealing with tumors and cancers. An Oncologist's work is related to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of such related cases. They specifically deal with solid tumors.

To become an Oncologist, one needs to complete a training program or course in oncology, after graduating from a medical school. The main focus of an Oncologist is to prescribe and implement chemotherapy. Surgical Oncologists are also able to carry out cancer surgeries.

Hematologist specializes in hematology, which is the study of blood and blood forming tissues. They diagnose, and provide treatment for blood disorders. A training program in clinical hematology is required, after being graduated form a medical school. Blood is an important part of body, and therefore any disorder and disease of blood can be very threatening. Some of the common problems treated by a Hematologist are anemia, sickle cell anemia, leukemia and hemophilia.

Hematologists may perform surgeries as a part of a patient’s treatment plan. Oncologist and Hematologist, both are closely related to each other.  Oncologists are able to work as hematologists as they study about cancer affecting blood cells. However, Hematologists cannot work as oncologists, as their field of study is limited to the study of blood and tissues that form blood. This is due to the fact that the training in oncology also includes training in hematology. A Hematologist-oncologist refers to a physician who specializes in treating cancers as well as disorders of blood.

They both often work together for achieving a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment.

Comparison between Oncologist and Hematologist:

 

Oncologist

Hematologist

Definition

An Oncologist is a medical doctor who is specialist in oncology, which means that he treats people suffering from cancer.

Hematologist is a physician who specializes in Hematology, which means that he deals with the medical conditions related to the physiology of the blood.

Common Types

  • Surgical Oncologist – they are capable of performing cancer surgery
  • Pediatric Oncologist – looks into the cases of children with cancer
  • Gynecologic Oncologist –they treat cancers occurring in the female reproductive system
  • Radiation Oncologist – they are specialized in application of radiation for the treatment of cancer
  • Thoracic Oncologist - a cancer doctor with expertise in lung cancer.
  • Hematologists may choose to specialize in certain areas. For example, some can work with bone marrow disease or focus on stem cell research.
  • Some others may choose to treat patients suffering from conditions like leukemia nd anemia.

Common Treatments

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Biological therapies,
  • Bone marrow and stem cell transplants
  • Diet advice
  • Oral medication
  • Anticoagulation therapy
  • Intramuscular injections 
  • Blood transfusion (for anemia)
  • Venesection also known as therepeutic phlebotomy 
  • All kinds of anti-cancer chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy

Diagnosis Methods

Biopsy, endoscopy. X-rays, CT scanning, MRI, ultrasound, Blood test, Scintigraphy, etc.

A variety of methods like a complete blood count test, coombs test, platelet count test, prothirombin time test, partial thromboplastin time test, and many more.

Origin

From Mod.L. onco- "tumor," from Gk. onkos "mass, bulk" + Eng. -logy "science or study of".

The word "heme" comes from the Greek for blood.

Image Courtesy: everydaylife.globalpost.com, wisegeek.com

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