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Oncology - Medical

Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with tumors (cancer). A medical professional who practices oncology is an oncologist.

Oncology is concerned with:

  • The diagnosis of any cancer in a person
  • Therapy (e.g., surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other modalities)
  • Follow-up of cancer patients after successful treatment
  • Palliative care of patients with terminal malignancies
  • Ethical questions surrounding cancer care
  • Screening efforts:
  • of populations, or
  • of the relatives of patients (in types of cancer that are thought to have a hereditary basis, such as breast cancer)

Specialties:

There are several sub-specialties within oncology. Moreover, oncologists often develop an interest and expertise in the management of particular types of cancer.

Oncologists may be divided on the basis of the type of treatment provided.

  • Radiation oncology: treatment primarily with radiation, a process called radiotherapy.
  • Surgical oncology: surgeons who specialize in tumor removal.
  • Medical oncology: treatment primarily with drugs, e.g. chemotherapy
  • nterventional oncology: interventional radiologists who specialize in minimally invasive image guided tumor therapies.
  • Gynecologic oncology: focuses on cancers of the female reproductive system.
  • Pediatric oncology: concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in children