The term oncology literally means a branch of science that deals with tumors and cancers. The word “onco” means bulk, mass, or tumor while “-logy” means study. Tumors are divided into two; benign and malignant. The field of oncology includes diagnoses, treatments, and developments of all types of cancer. After the second half of the 20th century, oncology has begun to progress rapidly. For providing early diagnosis of different types of cancer, many studies have been performed and new techniques have been developed such as CT scanning, MRI scanning, ultrasound, and nuclear magnetic resonance.
There are many researchers in the field of cancer treatment. Today, oncology has become an important science because cancer is in the first place among the causes of death. Medical professionals who practice oncology are called cancer specialists or oncologists.
PLANNING THE TREATMENT
Basic types of treatment are surgical operation, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Each of three treatments can be used for some cancer types. Your doctor may recommend you to be patient and to follow the procedure. Your specialist will consider the stage of the disease and overall health condition as you planned in your treatment. This is called "stage". To know what stage of the disease helps us forming an opinion about its development and which treatment will be administered.
If surgical operation, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy is recommended, permission will be required from you to accept the treatment.
It aims to make cancer disappear or to stop it as far as possible. Most probably you will ask for an advice from your specialist about your treatment and you can take specialists in their fields’ opinion through the hospitals that you applied for.
Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays to treat cancer cells. As long as you go to regular care, you will not need to stay hospital in this process. At this point, your arrival times may change depending on how much cure you will get. The treatment is painless, but side effects may occur. It may cause tiredness, swelling, and some skin reactions like sunburn. Many of these side effects may pass after treatment ends, yet it may rarely repeat in a long term.
Chemotherapy is the use of anti cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. These drugs are provided by injection or a dropper. This treatment sometimes requires staying at hospital. Chemotherapy has side effects because of the damage to healthy cells. It may seem hair loss, tiredness, nausea and vomiting in this process. Also it may affect patient’s sexual experiences. Depending on the type and extent of the treatment and other individual factors, adverse effects can range from mild to severe. Some people will have no adverse effects.
The other treatments are hormone therapy, bone marrow transplantation and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.
Palliative care is care given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease, such as cancer. The palliative care is usually provided by palliative care specialists, health care practitioners who have received special training and/or certification in palliative care.
Long Term Follow-up and Support
If the cancer responses the treatment positively, doctors will probably demand you to observe your condition regularly.