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What is Oncology?

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Doctors, after finishing medical school and during medical school, are given the opportunity to specialize in a specific area of medicine, much like lawyers pick an area of law. Some will choose pediatrics while others decide to go into sports medicine. Another area of medicine that is viewed as a specialty is oncology.  

Oncology is the branch of medicine that involves both the diagnosis and the treatment of cancer. The word in itself comes from the Greek word meaning “mass” or “bulk.” This is a reference to the tumors found with cancer. Doctors who have chosen or opted to specialize in fighting cancer are oncologists.

Oncology is a field that involves a huge range of study. Because cancer can be found in so many of the body’s incredibly varied systems, many doctors choose to specialize in a specific area of oncology. Some oncologist choose to specialize in bone cancer or blood diseases like leukemia. Other doctors who specialize in oncology opt to devote the majority of their time to the treatments involved in cancer like chemotherapy and radiation.

When a doctor chooses to specialize in oncology, he or she must serve an internship and residency that provides a focus on cancer treatment. These two stages of becoming a full-fledged doctor allow a doctor to learn as much as possible about their preferred branch of therapy. Specialists typically serve about four years beyond the normal residency period.

Oncology also includes research into the causes and potential cures for cancer. In addition to trained doctors, oncology is a field populated by scientists interested in a variety of research opportunities. The scientists develop different treatment options. Because oncology is such a wide-open field, some hospitals specialize in treating cancer and in research for new ways to fight the disease. In the last fifty or so years, hospitals and doctors everywhere have come a long way in treating even the most rare forms of the disease. 

Oncology has made great leaps of progress since the early days. When cancer was first discovered, the only way to do anything to treat the disease was through cutting out tumors with only the most primitive means. In the last quarter of a century, treatment has made more huge gains in the fields of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. 

While they have not discovered an effective or fool-proof form of treatment for every form the disease may take, great progress is still being made every day. Clinical trials conducted by oncologists focusing on both science and medicine take place on a daily basis.

Source by Joseph Devine

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