Surgical Oncology Hugh Fisher
Medicine these days is moving forward very rapidly in many different areas. So it’s important to stay on top of current developments. Now this can’t only be done by a surgeon, or radiation oncologist, or medical oncologist working alone. But we need a whole backup team to help us take best care of our patients. The team approach enables us to learn about cancer, to learn and apply new developments from a variety of sources. With a team, you may hear something from one of your colleagues that came in through another journal or another meeting, and it’s a matter of cross-fertilization of specialties so that we all have a good knowledge base with which to go forward in our specialties. At Albany Medical Center the buck stops here. We are the region’s tertiary care medical center and we treat the more complicated cases, patients that are transferred here from other hospitals, or patients with very complicated problems. If you certainly can solve a complicated problem, you can easily treat a simple problem. It’s also a matter of having many different treatment options so that the patient not only would see me, but he would see a radiation oncologist to talk about radiation options, and he also would see a medical oncologist to talk about other types of therapies. At the end of the day, of all these discussions and consultations, we may decide that that patient does not have a serious cancer. That’s quite a joyful moment if you tell them, “We’re going to observe your cancer. “We’re not going to treat it. “We don’t think it’s a threat to your life.” That’s a very relieved patient.