Oncology, which means a mass or tumor is the branch of science that deals with cancer. Oncology includes everything from the diagnosis of cancer(biopsy, endoscopy, CT Scan, MRI, Single Photon Emmision Computed Tomography), therapy(Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Surgery), and follow up of the cancer patients after successful treatment. Medical Oncology communicates the results of clinical and experimental research in oncology and hematology, particularly with experimental therapeutics with the field of immunotherapy and chemotherapy. It also provides state-of-the-art Reviews on clinical and experimental therapies in oncology and hematology. Topics covered include immunobiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of malignant tumors.
Radiation oncology is the treatment of cancer patients, using radiation therapy as the main modality of treatment. Radiation can be given as a curative modality, either alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. With precise use of radiations the cancerous or malignant cells can be killed without affecting the healthy cells. The ionizing radiation damages the DNA of the exposed tissue thus restricting cellular division. The technique uses radiation aimed from several angles of exposure so as to intersect the tumor. Radiation oncology prescribes radiation for restricting cell growth, and should not be confused with radiology, that is the use of radiation for medical imaging and diagnosis. Radiation therapy can be often combined with surgery, chemotherapy or hormone therapy.
Head & Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer refers to a group of biologically similar cancers that start in the lip, oral cavity (mouth), nasal cavity (inside the nose), paranasal sinuses, pharynx, and larynx. 90% of head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (SCCHN), originating from the mucosal lining (epithelium) of these regions. Head and neck cancers generally spread to the lymph nodes of the neck. Head and neck cancer is strongly associated with certain environmental and lifestyle risk factors, including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, UV light, particular chemicals used in certain workplaces, and certain strains of viruses, such as human papillomavirus. These cancers are frequently aggressive in their biologic behavior; patients with these types of cancer are at a higher risk of developing another cancer in the head and neck area. Head and neck cancer is highly curable if detected early, usually with some form of surgery, but radiation therapy may also play an important role, while chemotherapy is often ineffective.
Brain & Spinal Cord Cancers
Brain and spinal cord tumors are masses of abnormal cells that have grown out of control. In most other parts of the body, it is very important to distinguish between benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors. Benign tumors in other parts of the body do not grow into nearby tissues or spread to distant areas, so they are almost never life threatening. Brain cancers or tumors are caused by an uncontrolled cell growth in the brain, lymphatic tissue or the blood vessels.
Breast cancer is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas, while those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas. Breast cancer occurs in humans and other mammals. While the overwhelming majority of human cases occur in women, male breast cancer can also occur. The primary investigation is the detection of a lump in the breast. It can be detected by Mammography, which uses special x-rays to figure out any abnormal growths in the breast tissue. Though the exact cause of breast cancer is unknown but it is believed to be related to genetic factors, race, the medical history etc.
GI & Thoracic Oncology
Thoracic and Gastrointestinal Oncology deals with all range of surgeries including lung surgeries, oesophagectomies, gastric and liver resections, colectomies, radical pancreatic surgeries etc. Lung cancer is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in the lung tissues, and if left untreated can spread beyond the lungs to other parts of the body. Lung cancer is often associated with smoking and the early symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath or spitting blood. Gastrointestinal cancer refers to the malignant tissues in any of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract i.e. esophagus, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, stomach and biliary system. Some of the major cancers of the GI tract are :-
- Esophageal Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Gallbladder Cancer
- Anal Cancer
Gyne-oncology treats all kinds of cancers related to the female reproductive system.
- Cervical cance r- Cervical cancer is a malignant neoplasm arising from cells originating in the cervix uteri. Symtoms involve heavy vaginal bleeding, painful sexual intercourse etc.
- Ovarian cancer – Ovarian cancer occurs as a result of abnormal cell growth in the ovaries. It can be treated effectively if diagnosed early.
- Uterine (Endometrial Cancer) – Endometrial Cancer occurs as a result of abnormal cell growth in the lining of the uterus. It generally occurs in females with age and can be treated if detected early.
- Vaginal cancer – A vaginal cancer, though less common, occurs when malignant cells are formed in the vagina.
- Vulvar cancer – The vulvar cancer is the cancer of the outer lips of the vagina and is comparatively rare. Bleeding or itching are the common symptoms.
- Fellopian tube cancer – The fallopian tube can also be affected by cancerous growths and can be treated by oophorectomy.
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the prostate gland, in the male reproductive system. The function of the prostate gland is to make fluid for the semen. Prostate cancer is quite common in the men older than 60 and takes a few years to cause significant problems. Prostate cancer causes a lot of symptoms with the urinary system like frequent urination, not able to urinate, not able to stop or control urine, blood in the urine etc. The person may also feel problems in having sexual intercourse or erectile dysfunctioning. A PSA test, which stands for Prostate A
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary lung cancers, are carcinomas that derive from epithelial cells. Lung cancer is strongly correlated with tobacco smoking. The risk of lung cancer increases with smoking cigarettes as tobacco contains a lot of chemical compounds that are carcinogenic or cancer causing. Passive smoking also leads to an increased risk of developing a lung cancer as compared to active smokers. Also people working in certain set of conditions are also prone to develop lung cancer, such as workers working in processing asbestos fibres.
Leukemia and Lymphoma
Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that occurs when B or T lymphocytes, the white blood cells that form a part of the immune system and help protect the body from infection and disease, divide faster than normal cells or live longer than they are supposed to. Lymphoma may develop in the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood or other organs and eventually they form a tumor.
Leukemia (American English) or leukaemia (British English) is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called “blasts”. Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases. In turn, it is part of the even broader group of diseases affecting the blood, bone marrow, and lymphoid system, which are all known as hematological neoplasms.
Leukemia is a treatable disease. Most treatments involve chemotherapy, medical radiation therapy, hormone treatments, or bone marrow transplant. The rate of cure depends on the type of leukemia as well as the age of the patient. Children are more likely to be permanently cured than adults”