Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. A medical professional who practices oncology is an oncologist. The name's etymological origin is the Greek word ὄγκος (ónkos), meaning "tumor", "volume" or "mass" and the word λόγος (logos), meaning "study"
The three components which have improved survival in cancer are:
- Prevention – by reduction of risk factors like tobacco and alcohol consumption
- Early diagnosis – screening of common cancers and comprehensive diagnosis and staging
- Treatment – multimodality management by discussion in tumor board and treatment in a comprehensive cancer centre
Cancers are often managed through discussion on multi-disciplinary cancer conferences where medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, and organ specific oncologists meet to find the best possible management for an individual patient considering the physical, social, psychological, emotional, and financial status of the patient.
It is very important for oncologists to keep updated with respect to the latest advancements in oncology, as changes in management of cancer are quite common.
All eligible patients in whom cancer progresses, and for whom no standard of care treatment options are available should be enrolled in a clinical trial.