An oncologist is usually a doctor who specializes in patients who have cancer. An oncologist also offers supportive care and may coordinate treatment by other specialists. The oncologist has specific training in treating and diagnosing cancer through chemotherapy, biological therapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. He or she is also called a clinical oncologist and a cancerologist.




What conditions do oncologists treat?

7 of the most common conditions that the oncologist treat:

  •  Breast cancer
  •  Lymphoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Amyloidosis
  • Neuroblastoma

Breast cancer is cancer that is created in the tissues of the breast or breasts. The most common type is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the lining of the tubes that carry milk from the breast to the nipple. Another type of breast cancer is lobular carcinoma, which begins in the lobules of the breast. It can occur in both women and men, although male breast cancer is rare.

Lymphoma is cancer that originates in the cells of the immune system. There are two types of lymphomas: Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is characterized by Reed-Sternberg cells. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas comprise a diverse group of cancers in the cells of the immune system. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas are differentiated into cancers of low malignancy, since they are slow-growing, and those of high malignancy, which are characterized by rapid growth. These subclasses respond to treatment and behave in different ways. Both types of lymphomas occur in both adults and children, and treatment and prognosis depend on the type and stage of cancer.

Osteosarcoma, or osteogenic sarcoma, is a bone cancer that usually affects the long bones of the legs and arms. It is a malignant cancer that usually occurs in young people and is more common in men than in women. 

Ovarian cancer is cancer that is created in the tissues of the ovary, where eggs, or female reproductive cells, are formed. Ovarian cancers are usually cancers that begin in cells on the surface of the ovary (epithelial cancers) or cancers that form in eggs. Primary peritoneal cancer and fallopian tube cancer are similar to epithelial cancer and are treated the same way.

An adenocarcinoma is a term that describes any cancer that begins in cells. They are found in the tissue that lines organs such as the lung, breast, pancreas, and prostate. These organs are responsible for producing and releasing substances in the body such as digestive juices, mucus, or other fluids. Cancers that develop in these organs are usually adenocarcinomas.

Amyloidosis is a group of diseases in which protein builds up in some organs (localized amyloidosis) or throughout the body (systemic amyloidosis). Amyloidosis can be of unknown origin (primary), caused by another disease (secondary), or passed down from parents to children ( hereditary). Amyloidosis affects several organs.

Neuroblastoma is the type of cancer that is created from immature nerve cells. It usually begins in the adrenal glands, where hormones are made that help control blood pressure, the heartbeat, and other vital body functions. But it can also originate in the chest, abdomen, or nerve tissue near the spine. Neuroblastoma occurs most often in children under age 5. It is believed to occur before birth. It is usually discovered when the tumor begins to grow and cause symptoms.



What treatments and procedures exist in oncology?

5 of the most common treatments and procedures performed by the oncologist in Guatemala are:

  • Biopsies
  • Chemotherapies
  • Radiotherapy in Guatemala
  • Mammography in Guatemala
  • Oncological surgery

Biopsies are the extractions of tissue or cells to be observed by a pathologist. The pathologist looks at the tissue under a microscope or performs other tests on the tissue or cells. There are many types of biopsies. The most common are: 1) excisional biopsy, in which a questionable area or mass is completely removed; 2) incisional biopsy, in which only a sample of tissue is removed; and 3) needle biopsy, in which fluid or a sample of tissue is removed with a needle. When a fine needle is used, the practice is called a fine needle aspiration biopsy. When a wide needle is used, the procedure is called a core needle biopsy. Fine-needle aspiration biopsies are common in the diagnosis of breast or thyroid cancer. 

Chemotherapies are treatments with drugs to stop the development of cancer cells, either by stopping them from multiplying or by destroying them. Chemotherapies can be given by injection, tablets, or pills, over the skin, or by infusion, depending on the stage of cancer and the type of cancer. They are given alone or in conjunction with other treatments such as radiation therapy, surgery, or biological therapy.

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, neutrons, protons, gamma rays, and other sources to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. Radiation is released from a radioactive material placed inside the body, close to the cancer cells; or it is transmitted from a machine outside the body. Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, which travels through the blood and into tissues throughout the body. 

Mammography in Guatemala uses an x-ray machine or a computer to take pictures of the inside of the breast. It is used to see if there is breast cancer or other changes in the breast, such as cysts, abnormal lumps, or calcifications.

Oncology surgery, or cancer surgery, removes a tumor and the surrounding tissue during an operation. The doctor who treats cancer with surgery is called a surgical oncologist. Oncology surgery is the oldest way to fight cancer and is still effective in treating many kinds of cancer. The most common reasons for cancer surgery are to diagnose cancer, remove all or part of cancer, find out where cancer is, find out if cancer has spread or is affecting the function of other organs, restore the appearance or function of a part of the body, and relieve side effects.

Dr. Luis Linares

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  • Radio-Oncology, Brachytherapy
  • Cancer Treatment – Primary and Metastatic
  • Organizer of Multidisciplinary Board of Cancer Specialists
  • (502) 2290-8563 For Appointments In Guatemala
  • (305) 290-8050 For Callers From USA & Canada
  • Spanish, English
    • Guatemala City