How Do Oncology and Hematology Overlap?

How Oncology and Hematology Overlap

Are you going to medical school but haven’t decided on a medical specialty just yet? Oncology and hematology are both hot medical practices right now in the healthcare field for many reasons. Across the board, there is a growing demand for oncologists and hematologists at all types of healthcare facilities, making both practice areas appealing options for up-and-coming physicians seeking lucrative careers. If you’re torn between what path to pursue, here’s a breakdown of both specialties – and how they both overlap in some ways:

Oncologists. At the center of cancer care, oncologists are involved in treating all types of cancer, including facilitating drug therapies, radiation, and surgeries. Oncologists manage every aspect of cancer care to identify the best treatment options for patients’ specific type of cancer and other medical conditions. Some oncologists are also surgeons who specialize in the removal of cancer tumors as part of a patient’s course of prevention or treatment. Because of a growing shortage of oncologists, facilities have expanded their recruitment efforts to locum tenens oncologists to meet increasing demand. According to findings by the Journal of Oncology Practice, the U.S. is likely to face a 48 percent increase in demand for oncologist services by 2020 due to expected increase in survivorship and increase in cancer incidence among the aging population.

Hematologists. While they’re often involved in the treatment of cancer patients, hematologists focus their practice solely on the treatment of blood disorders and diseases, such as sickle cell disease, anemia, hemophilia, thrombosis lymphoma, and many others. They primarily specialize in researching and diagnosing diseases of the blood through various tests and procedures, such as blood transfusions, blood marrow transplants, and immunotherapy. Because blood disorders affect all parts of the body, hematologists work closely with other specialists, including primary care physicians, radiologists, and oncologists.

Similarities. If you have an interest in treating blood disorders while playing a role in the treatment of cancer on some level, you’ll be pleased to learn there is much overlap between hematology and oncology. Because many cancers are often first detected in routine blood tests, hematologists have a critical role in identifying potential signs of cancer before cancer cells spread. Additionally, because cancer treatments have a direct impact on blood levels, hematologists work closely with patients’ oncologists on formulating the best course of treatment for their blood conditions.

Looking to grow a career in the oncology or hematology field?   

Working with a recruiting firm like MPLT Healthcare can expose you to medical career options you may have never considered. Get in touch with our team today and learn how we can help!