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Medical Oncology Expert Witnesses

Unparalleled insight into high-stakes cancer litigation

Oncology is the medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, as well as follow-up care of cancer patients and palliative care of patients with terminal cancers. Medical oncologists, also known as clinical oncologists, specialize in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and similar treatments.

Medical oncologists in the United States must complete a medical degree (MD or DO), followed by a three-year residency in internal medicine. They must then complete a two- to three-year fellowship in medical oncology, which provides specialized training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Board Certification in medical oncology is administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

Treatments administered by medical oncologists include:

  • Chemotherapy: This treatment involves using drugs that kill cancer cells or slow their growth. Chemotherapy may be administered orally, through an IV infusion, or injection.
  • Targeted therapy: This treatment targets specific molecules or genes that are involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. It can be administered orally or through an IV infusion.
  • Immunotherapy: This treatment uses the patient's immune system to fight cancer cells. It can be administered through an IV infusion or injection.
  • Hormone therapy: This treatment is used for cancers sensitive to hormones, such as breast and prostate cancer. It involves the use of drugs that block the production or action of hormones in the body.
  • Stem cell transplantation: This treatment involves replacing damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy stem cells. It may treat certain types of leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
  • Palliative care: This treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms and improving the quality of life for patients with advanced cancer. It may involve pain management, emotional support, and other forms of care.

Medical oncologists work closely with radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists, as well as other medical professionals, to create comprehensive care plans for patients with cancer.

The role of a medical oncologist as an expert witness

Medical oncologists can be important expert witnesses in medical malpractice cases involving misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer. A medical oncologist can explain the consequences of a delayed diagnosis and offer their professional opinion on whether an earlier diagnosis and intervention could have led to a better outcome for the patient. Medical oncologists can also describe the cost of cancer treatment, the side effects and potential complications of treatments such as chemotherapy, and the long-term prognosis for a cancer patient.

Medical oncologists can also be critical witnesses in toxic exposure and occupational exposure cases involving cancer. They can offer an opinion on the causes of cancer, the likely cost of treatment, and other damages for the plaintiff.

The best in oncology to assist the legal community

Medical malpractice and personal injury cases involving cancer have high stakes, and the right expert witness can make all the difference. The Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants network includes highly qualified, Board-Certified medical oncologists who are available for both consultations and trial testimony. If you have a potential case involving cancer diagnosis or treatment, contact us for a free case summary review.

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