Medical Oncology

Medical Oncology is a sub-specialty of Internal Medicine that focuses on cancer. A medical oncologist specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and supportive care. The medical oncologist often serves as the main caregiver for a cancer patient from diagnosis throughout the entire course of the disease, coordinating the treatment provided by other specialists and the nursing team.  The medical oncologists at Illinois Cancer Specialists are committed to providing customized and personalized treatment plans for each patient.  The medical oncologists and the nursing staff will take patients through the entire cancer journey by providing additional resources such as patient support services, financial counseling, dietary counseling and support groups.

Chemotherapy medications are used to treat many types of cancer because these drugs can destroy cancer cells. These drugs are also called anticancer drugs. Sometimes two or more drugs are used together, which is called combination chemotherapy. In addition, an oncologist may prescribe other types of drugs such as hormones, biological therapies, or supportive care medications. Treatment side effects can vary depending on the chemotherapy regimen received.  Throughout treatment, patients are monitored very closely by the healthcare team and counseled about nutrition, exercise, and side-effect prevention and treatment.  Illinois Cancer Specialists' expert and compassionate staff guides patients through the cancer treatment experience, helping every step of the way.

Biologic Therapy is a type of treatment that works with your immune system.  It can help fight cancer or help control side effects (how your body reacts to the drugs you are taking) from other cancer treatments like chemotherapy.  Biologic therapy and chemotherapy are both treatments that fight cancer. While they may seem alike, they work in different ways. 

Hormonal Therapy is a treatment that adds, blocks, or removes hormones.  To slow or stop the growth of certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer), synthetic hormones or other drugs may be given to block the body’s natural hormones.  Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the gland that makes a certain hormone.  Hormonal therapy is sometimes called endocrine therapy or hormone treatment.  

Supportive Care is provided to patients who have been treated for cancer who develop symptoms or side effects that affect their quality of life.  Special care and therapies are provided to help patients cope with these symptoms or side effects.