Inpatient and daycare Oncology

Oncology is a highly specialized field of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of cancer and related illnesses. Cancer is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of diseases characterized by abnormal cell growth and proliferation. These cells can form tumors, which can invade surrounding tissue and spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymph system.

Diagnosis of cancer is a critical step in the management of the disease. The oncologist will typically use a combination of methods to diagnose cancer, including physical examination, imaging studies, and biopsy.

Biopsy and resection are considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of cancer. A biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is taken from a suspicious growth, and analyzed by a pathologist to determine whether it is cancerous. A resection is a surgical procedure in which the entire growth is removed. Biopsy and resection are crucial in guiding the next step in management, such as active surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these.

Endoscopy is another method that is used to localize areas suspicious for malignancy and biopsy when necessary. For example, upper or lower gastrointestinal endoscopy, cystoscopy, bronchoscopy, or nasendoscopy.

X-rays, CT scanning, MRI scanning, ultrasound, and other radiological techniques are used to localize and guide biopsy. Scintigraphy, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), and other methods of nuclear medicine are also used to identify areas suspicious for malignancy.

Blood tests, including tumor markers, can also be used to increase the suspicion of certain types of cancers. For example, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a tumor marker that is commonly used to screen for prostate cancer.

Once cancer is diagnosed, the oncologist will work with a team of healthcare professionals to develop an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to the patient’s specific needs. This may include a combination of treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. The choice of treatment will depend on factors such as the type and stage of cancer, the patient’s overall health, and their personal preferences.

Oncologists also play an important role in the management of cancer-related symptoms and side effects of treatment, as well as providing emotional support and guidance to patients and their families throughout the cancer journey.

It is important to note that cancer treatment is an ever-evolving field, with new treatments and therapies being developed and tested all the time. Oncologists are responsible for staying up to date with the latest research and developments in the field, and using this knowledge to provide the best possible care for their patients.