Oncology

Oncology

Oncology is a field of medicine that deals with the study, diagnosis and treatment of tumours and cancer. Cancer refers to a disease or condition where cells in one part or multiple parts of the body grow abnormally and uncontrollably and invade, damage or destroy any healthy tissue or organs around it. The abnormal cells that our body produces when someone has cancer can also divide and travel through our bodies to other and multiple parts or organs in a process called metastasis. Cancer can take many forms and as there are over 200 forms of cancer, many form cancerous tumours, which can also grow and multiply. Other cancers such as melanoma and blood cancer or leukaemia do not develop cancerous tumours. The importance of oncology since the last century has helped to raise survival rates in cancer patients, but studies show that cancer is still one of the leading causes of death worldwide.  

Oncologists, the doctors responsible for treating cancer patients can have diverse medical specialities such as medical, surgical or radiation. Usually, oncologists work within multidisciplinary teams to be able to diagnose a patient. This initial process usually starts with a biopsy but could also begin with imagined studies or procedures like X-rays, CT or MRI scans, endoscopies or colonoscopies and more. After diagnosis, oncologists and other health care professionals come up with a personalised treatment plan for the affected patient which could include different types of treatments like surgery, provision of cancer medications, chemotherapy or immunotherapy and radiation treatments to deal with the specific type of cancer on a case to case basis.

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