Better Health Channel


An oncologist is a doctor who specialises in treating people with cancer. Medical, surgical and radiation oncologists focus on a particular area of cancer. Often, these different types of oncologists work together to diagnose, treat and monitor a person with cancer.

Services provided

  • Diagnosis of cancer
  • Treatment of cancer, including:
    • Chemotherapy and use of other medication to destroy cancer cells
    • Surgery
    • Biopsy
    • Radiation therapy


You need a referral from a doctor to see an oncologist.

How to access

Ask your doctor about how to make an appointment with your oncologist.


Oncologist services may be partly or fully covered by Medicare.

Oncologist fees are covered by some private health funds, but the amount will depend on your insurance policy. Contact your insurer for more information.



Conventional healthcare


Australian Health Practitioner Agency (AHPRA).


Oncologists must be registered through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agencywith the Medical Board of Australia.

Minimum qualifications

The minimum education requirement for an oncologist is Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.


  • Take results of any tests with you (such as x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs).
  • Write down a list of questions to ask while you are there.
  • Take a friend or family member who can write down important information.