Los Angeles has a well-rounded healthcare landscape with many quality options. Topping the U.S. News rankings for hospital systems in Los Angeles and California is the UCLA Medical Center. Los Angeles also has one of the largest integrated VA healthcare systems. Public health services include Martin Luther King, Jr., Center of Public Health. It offers immunizations, tests for sexually transmitted diseases, and more.
One of the nation’s top healthcare facilities is UCLA Medical Center. It ranks #5 on U.S. News Best Hospitals Honor Roll, and is nationally ranked in 14 adult specialties and seven children’s specialties, including:
Offering some of the best children’s care in the country is Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, ranked #8 on U.S. News Best Children’s Hospital Honor Roll. It ranks nationally in 10 children’s specialties, including:
An oncologist is a highly-trained doctor who specializes in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Oncologists also help you devise treatment plans for cancer by using reports that detail your cancer’s type, development, the likelihood of spreading, and areas of the body affected.
With most cancers more effectively treated by using a variety of therapies, you may see several kinds of oncologists throughout your cancer treatment.
What conditions does an oncologist treat?
Oncologists treat many different types of cancer and provide medical counsel to people who’ve been diagnosed with cancer. In addition to creating a plan to treat your cancer, your oncologist will also help with managing any side effects of your treatment.
What procedures does an oncologist perform?
There are several procedures oncologists perform. Depending on your needs, your oncologist may recommend a plan that involves a combination of treatments and procedures, including:
When should I go to an oncologist?
Your first line of defense is to visit your primary care physician (PCP). If your PCP suspects that you have cancer, or if signs of cancer are revealed in tests or imaging, they will refer you to an oncologist for diagnosis and treatment.
The signs and symptoms of cancer vary from person to person and depend on the type of cancer you may have, so it’s best to keep an eye out for some common symptoms, including:
Because the symptoms of cancer are so varied, check out these additional resources:
What can I expect during my first oncology appointment?
Though it can be overwhelming to learn you have cancer, your oncologist will be a resource that helps you feel more confident about your treatment. During your first appointment, your oncologist will start with a thorough examination and may order blood work or imaging tests. They’ll also ask you questions to get to know you and review your health history before formulating a treatment plan that makes sense to you.
You can also expect your oncologist to answer any questions you may have about your treatment plan or any recommended procedures. They’ll explain your best course of action, how effective the treatments are, and any potential side effects you may experience.
What questions should I ask my oncologist?
It’s perfectly normal to have several questions going into a visit with your oncologist. Because we want you to get the most out of your appointment, we’ve created a list of questions for you to ask.
Use the following as a starting point for any other questions or concerns you may have: