What is Oncology

What is Oncology

Essentially, oncology is a branch of science that deals with cancers and tumors. It is derived from the words “once” and “logy” which means bulk, mass, or tumor.

  • What is cancer
  • Role of an oncologist
  • Oncology diagnostic tools
  • Cancer therapy
  • Types of Oncologists
  • What is a tumor board?

1.What is cancer


Cancer begins when cancer cells grow out of control in a part of the body. Each cell has tightly regulated system that controls its growth, maturity, reproduction, and eventual death. All cancers are caused by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.

2.Role of an oncologist

Oncologists are medical professionals who specialize in cancer. They help diagnose cancer, stage it, and grade how aggressive it is.

3.Oncology diagnostic tools

There are a number of symptoms that can point towards cancer, such as fatigue, weight loss, unexplained anemia, fever of unknown origin etc. As a diagnostic tool, the clinical history remains crucial. Several diagnostic methods are used in oncology, such as biopsies and microscopy, in order to diagnose cancer. Aside from endoscopy, other diagnostic techniques include X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, ultrasounds, and other radiological procedures. Tests for tumor markers and biological markers are common methods of detecting cancer. A rise in these markers in the blood may indicate the presence of cancer.

4.Cancer therapy

Oncologists help patients determine the best course of treatment based on the grade and stage of their cancer. Other specialists Other specialists may also be involved in cancer treatment, such as surgeons, radiation oncologists, or radiotherapists. Cancer therapy is however, coordinated by oncologists.

5.Types of Oncologists

Surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology are the three main areas of oncology. Chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapies are among the methods used by medical oncologists to treat cancer. A radiation oncologist uses high-energy x-rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells during radiation therapy. A surgical oncologist treats cancer through surgery, including removing the tumor and nearby tissue. These surgeons can  also perform certain types of biopsies to diagnose the disease.

6.What is a tumor board?

A tumor board may review a patient’s cancer case when the diagnosis is complex. At some cancer centers, tumor boards review all cases of cancer. The tumor board consists of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgeons who work together to determine the best treatment plan for cancer patients. There may also be other specialists on the tumor board who can provide a diverse perspective that would be helpful to you in getting the best care.

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