Clinical or Medical Oncology

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I have been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer through the breast care department following a routine mammogram. I was given an oncology appointment for tomorrow with the Medical Oncology Team, but I have been told today that is the wrong clinic, and I have been given an appointment for next week with Clinical Oncology. I don't really understand the difference. We had been psyched up to get some further information tomorrow, and now at the 11th hour that's been pushed back to next week which is disappointing and I now have something else to think about! I am trying not to Google, so can anyone clarify the differences?

  • Hi SummerSparkles welcome to the forum. I can appreciate how frustrating this must be for you and this I would assume is the hospitals responsibility. However, sometimes the teams names are interchangeable but more likely different on this occasion because of the different types of treatment  you may need for example as one team will be able to do these and the other wouldn't so I don't think its anymore than that but nonetheless very frustrating for you.   Sometimes both are involved and it does seem to vary around the country.  

    Hope thats useful for you and whatever you do DO NOT GOOGLE, it is non specific and can make you more alarmed than needs be and that applies for us all.


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  • Hi ,

    Medical Oncology prescribe drugs, so chemo, hormone therapy etc.

    Clinical Oncology, in theory, also prescribe drugs, but also plan radiotherapy. In reality they seem to only do radiotherapy.



  • Hi  

    I work in the Online Community team and just wanted to leave you with some information that may be helpful. Im sorry to read of your breast cancer diagnosis and how your appointment has been pushed back.

    If you ever want to get clarity about clinical terms or if you have questions about your treatment you can speak to one of our Cancer Information Nurse Specialists on our Support Line. Our support team are available 7 days a week, 8am-8pm on freephone 0808 808 00 00email or live webchat.

    Best wishes,

    Macmillan's Online Community Team