PIKEVILLE — According to the American Society of Internal Medicine, “Medical oncology is a specialty that focuses on treating cancer with medicines and various treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.”
Medical Oncologists are in charge of the cancer patient’s care, from the moment of diagnosis to follow-up after remission.
They treat all types of cancer. Some of these include: melanoma, breast, lung, colon, rectal, head and neck, pancreatic and esophageal cancer.
The Pikeville Medical Leonard Lawson Cancer Center (LLCC) Medical Oncologists are Dr. Vickie Morgan and Dr. Tamara Musgrave.
To share more about their specialty, Drs. Morgan and Musgrave were asked several questions about their field of work. Below are there answers.
What does a Medical Oncologist do?
Dr. Musgrave — “Medical Oncologists treat cancer with medicine. We spend our day explaining cancer diagnosis to patients and families, making sure they understand the stage their cancer is in and all the treatment options available. We work to help our patients maintain their quality of life by treating various symptoms associated with cancer such as nausea, appetite loss, constipation, fatigue and pain.”
What other specialists do you work with on a regular basis?
Dr. Morgan — “As a medical oncologist, I work with a team of different specialists on a daily basis. Some of these include hematologists/medical oncologists, gynecology oncologist, patient navigators, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, dieticians, a palliative care team and patient schedulers”
Why did you choose to become a Medical Oncologist?
Dr. Musgrave — “I made my decision to become a Medical Oncologist when I was completing my Infectious Disease training at the University of Nebraska. I was working on the bone marrow transplant unit, and I became very close to an 18-year-old boy, who was a leukemia patient undergoing a transplant. During his time in the unit, we had many talks about many issues. He talked about what it was like to have cancer at such a young age. He discussed what it was like to take chemotherapy, and all of the fears that go along with a cancer diagnosis including the fear of dying. He also talked about all the things he hoped to accomplish if his cancer went into remission and if he were cured. It was then I decided I wanted to help people like him — some who would be cured and others who are able to buy more time, maybe another Christmas or birthday.”
What is the most rewarding part about your job?
Dr. Morgan — “The most rewarding part about my job is providing cancer patients with the best possible care and quality of life during a very difficult time. It’s also rewarding to see my patients respond to treatment for their cancer and enjoy time with their families that they may not have had otherwise.”
For more information, call 606-218-4742.
Source: American College of Physicians — American Society of Internal Medicine