It becomes easier for us to deal with diseases that are easily diagnosed. This is done with the help of identifying the symptoms which makes it fairly simple to plan the treatment option and plan the road ahead. But when it comes to complex conditions, then it can be very tricky. One of those diseases in this category is cancer. It may be just a single word but the outcome of this disease is very ghastly. The branch of medicine which deals with the treatment of cancer is known as oncology. Hospitals in India are known for oncology treatment.
Oncology is a branch of medicine which deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. These three steps are taken in orderly fashion to make sure that the patient gets out of the disease quickly. Cancer is more than one diseases combined as a whole. In cancer, there is abnormal growth of cells which has the potential to spread to different parts of the body. Every single cell present in the body has a regulated system that controls the growth, maturity and death of the cells. Though the type of cancer may differ but they all begin when the growth becomes out of control.
There are more than 100 different types of cancer known to human beings and there are million people who are either living with cancer or had cancer before. There are different roles which an oncologist has to play for helping the patient. The role includes –
1. When a patient arrives, it is the duty of the doctor to explain the diagnosis and the stage in which the patient currently is.
2. Discussing the treatment options and asking the preferred choice of the patient.
3. Delivering quality and compassionate care parallel to none other.
4. Management of the symptoms and side effects that may occur due to the treatment going on.
Cancer programs in India include three different types of treatment under the field of oncology. These are medical oncology, surgical oncology and radiation oncology. When it comes to medical oncology, there are different types of treatment options which a medical oncologist specializes in. These options are chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Chemotherapy is the most common one, but others are also used in some cases.
Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment in which one or more drugs are administered to interfere with the cancer cell's ability to divide and reproduce. In this treatment, one or combination of drugs may be used. Cancer cells divide faster than the normal cells and chemotherapy destroys them at the faster rate.
Chemotherapy is used in different ways depending on the condition of the patient. It can be given before the surgery or radiation therapy to shrink the size of the tumor. It can also be given after the surgery to kill off the remaining cancer cells. It is the only treatment available for cancers such as blood cancer, leukemia etc.
This is a type of cancer treatment which uses drugs but differs from chemotherapy as they target specific genes and proteins. The genes targeted are found in cancer cells or in cells which are related to cancer growth. Gene changes happen in certain types of cancer. And the drugs which are being developed target these changes. These drugs can block or turn off signals that tell cancer cells to grow or divide. They also ward off the cells and keep them away from living longer than normal.
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment in which the ability of the body's natural defense is enhanced to thwart the cancer cells. It either uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory to improve and restore immune system function. There are different types of immunotherapy such as monoclonal antibodies, non-specific immunotherapies, oncolytic virus therapy etc.