Oncology is a special branch of medicine that deals with the study and treatment of cancer. The term oncology originates from the Greek word onkos meaning bulk or tumor.
Oncology mainly deals with the diagnosis of cancer, therapy which includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and others.
The most significant diagnostic tool used in the study of oncology is medical history. It includes specific symptoms experienced by the patient and nature of complaint. Other diagnostic tools are
Biopsy – a medical test which involves removal of cells or tissues from possible area of malignancy for microscopic examination
Endoscopy – This involves internal examination of the patient’s body by inserting a small scope to view the lesion.
X-Ray, CT scan, Ultrasound – These are radiological techniques used to examine the patient.
Blood Tests – Pathological examination like blood tests is a common technique to diagnose cancer.
Scintigraphy, Positron emission tomography – These are methods of nuclear medicine used to diagnose cancer.
Treatment of cancer depends on specific cases and the nature and extent of malignancy of the tumor. The most common methods of treatment are
Surgery – If the case permits, surgery or removal of the malignant portion of the body is removed.
Chemotherapy – It is the use of chemical substances to treat the disease. Often cytotoxic drugs are used for chemotherapy.
Radiotherapy – Ionizing radiation is used as a medical technique to cure and control the growth of malignant cells.
Hormone Manipulation – is mainly used in cases of breast and prostrate cancer
Vaccine – It is an antigenic preparation used to establish immunity to the disease.
To treat social problems like neglect and alienation, patients suffering from cancer or cured from cancer need palliative care. Physical problems that are associated with the treatment of cancer are pain, nausea, anorexia, fatigue and immobility.
Facilities in Hospitals
Oncology department has a special Tumour Board, comprising medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, and diagnostic consultants who provide comprehensive advice on the best course of treatment for patients. The department provides world-class cancer cure.