What is cancer?
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer develops when the body’s normal control mechanism stops working. Old cells do not die and instead grow out of control, forming new, abnormal cells. These extra cells may form a mass of tissue, called a tumor. Some cancers, such as leukemia, do not form tumors.
How common is cancer?
For decades, the overall rate of new cases in the United States has been trending slowly downward, but that doesn’t mean that is now uncommon. In fact, according to the National Oncology Institute, about 39.5 percent of all men and women in the United States will be diagnosed with at some point in their lives.
Some are more common than others, with the following cited as the most prevalent nationwide currently:
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
While the rate of most is trending downward, the rate of certain types, such as melanoma, has actually increased in the past few decades.
What are the most common forms of cancer?
it may occur anywhere in the body. In women, breast Oncology is one of the most common. In men, it’s prostate cancer. Lung cancer and colorectal Oncology affect both men and women in high numbers.
There are five main categories :
- Carcinomas begin in the skin or tissues that line the internal organs.
- Sarcomas develop in the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle or other connective tissues.
- Leukemia begins in the blood and bone marrow.
- Lymphomas start in the immune system.
- Central nervous system develop in the brain and spinal cord.
How do you get cancer?
Experts don’t yet have all the answers about what causes Oncology. There are, however, certain characteristics—called risk factors—that may increase your likelihood of developing Oncology .
You can control some risk factors (smoking, for example), but not others (like your race or age). Moreover, some cancers can be caused by factors in your environment, such as exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight. And a small number may be linked to an initial infection with a virus or bacteria.
Beyond those risk factors, some Oncology are also inherited, meaning they are passed down through your family. According to the American Cancer Society, about 5 percent to 10 percent of all are inherited from gene defects (mutations).
In some cases, researchers have figured out the exact genes that may cause, and they can sometimes provide genetic counseling to help you understand your risk. But other cancers are caused by mutations that happen to an individual over time.
An important way for you to possibly detect cancer early, when it’s easier to treat, is to undergo a screening. Through screenings, doctors check people who don’t necessarily have any Oncology symptoms. Depending on your age, gender or other risk factors, your care team may recommend you get checked for certain cancers.
How do you know whether you’re a good candidate for a Oncology screening? You may need to get screened for certain types of Oncology if you:
- Have had cancer before
- Have a family member who’s been diagnosed
- Have used tobacco or worked with certain chemicals
- Have a certain gene mutation linked
- Have had a blood clot develop without a known reason
- Are older
What is a cancer stage, and what does it mean?
Your doctor will likely describe your Oncology by referencing its stage. Your Oncology stage can tell you and your care team a lot about your disease, including:
- Severity of the Oncology
- Appropriate treatments, including any clinical trial options
- Likelihood of recovery after treatment
- Chances of the Oncology returning (recurrence)
Your care team may need to conduct certain tests—such as a computed tomography (CT) scan or a biopsy—to determine your cancer stage.
Not all cancers are classified with the same staging system. However, the one most commonly used includes the following stages:
- Stage 0: it cells remain in the same place where they started. This may also be called Oncology in situ, meaning that it hasn’t grown or spread.
- Stage 1: it hasn’t grown into nearby tissues or lymph nodes.
- Stage 2: it has grown into nearby tissues and possibly nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage 3: it has grown deeper into nearby tissues and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes, but not to distant parts of the body.
- Stage 4: it has spread to other parts of the body, or other organs. This is also called metastatic, or advanced, Oncology.
Some Oncology may also be described using a grade, which describes how different cancerous cells look under a microscope compared with healthy cells. Cells in a low-grade tumor don’t look much different from healthy cells, while cells in a high-grade tumor look very different and may grow and spread more quickly.
How is treated?
Treatment options depend on the type of Oncology , its stage, if the Oncology has spread and your general health. The goal of treatment is to kill as many cancerous cells while reducing damage to normal cells nearby. Advances in technology make this possible.
The three main treatments are:
- Surgery: directly removing the tumor
- Chemotherapy: using chemicals to kill cells
- Radiation therapy: using X-rays to kill cells
The same Oncology type in one individual is very different from that Oncology in another individual. Within a single type of Oncology , such as breast Oncology, researchers are discovering subtypes that each requires a different treatment approach.
What is oncology?
The branch of medicine dedicated to diagnosing, treating and researching Oncology is known as oncology, while a physician who works in the field is called an oncologist. Some oncologists focus solely on particular Oncology types or treatments. Depending on the type, stage and location of a Oncology, multiple oncology specialists may be involved in a patient’s care. The field of oncology has three main specialties—medical, surgical and radiation—and numerous sub-specialties.
A medical oncologist is a licensed physician (typically in internal medicine) trained in diagnosing, staging and treating Oncology. This specialist also leads the development of the Oncology patient’s treatment plan, which may include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy or hormone therapy, while also coordinating with other oncology specialists and clinicians who may have a role in the patient’s care. A medical oncologist is also the doctor a Oncology patient will continue to see after treatment, for checkups over the long-term.
A surgical oncologist is a surgeon who specializes in performing biopsies and removing cancerous tumors and surrounding tissue, as well as other related operations.
A radiation oncologist specializes in treating with radiation therapy to shrink or destroy cells or to ease cancer-related symptoms.
Many types are treated by an oncology sub-specialty. Gynecologic oncologists, for example, are trained to treat of the female reproductive system such as those affecting the uterus, cervix, or ovaries, while hematologic oncologists specialize in diagnosing and treating blood (leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma). A neuro-oncologist treats of the brain, spine and peripheral nerves.
What can you do to manage the side effects of cancer treatment?
Supportive care services describe a broad range of therapies designed to combat side effects and maintain well-being. Treating Oncology requires focusing on more than the disease alone; it must also address the pain, fatigue, depression and other side effects that come with it.
Supportive care services include:
- Nutrition therapy to help prevent malnutrition and reduce side effects
- Naturopathic support to use natural remedies to boost energy and reduce side effects
- Oncology rehabilitation to rebuild strength and overcome some of the physical effects of treatment
- Mind-body medicine to improve emotional well-being through counseling, stress management techniques and support groups
What does the future hold for cancer treatment?
The future treatment lies in providing patients with an even greater level of personalization. Doctors are beginning to offer treatment options based on the genetic changes occurring in a specific tumor.
An innovative new diagnostic tool, the genomic tumor assessment, examines a patient’s tumor genetically to identify the mechanism that caused. Genomic tumor assessment may result in a more personalized approach to Oncology treatment.
Oncology at Mayo Clinic is one of the largest, most comprehensive diagnosis and treatment programs in the world. Each year thousands of people who have any of more than 200 kinds seek treatment at Mayo Clinic from oncologists and other experts.
Oncologists specialize in managing drug treatments for people with early and advanced cancers that affect the organs, muscles, bones and connective tissue. However, people with some early-stage Oncology may be treated with surgery or radiation therapy alone and may not need the care of an oncologist.
Treatments managed by oncologists include:
- Biological therapy
- Targeted drug therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Experimental therapies
- Other systemic treatments
Types of Oncologists
Oncology is the study of cancer. An oncologist is a doctor who treats Oncology and provides medical care for a person diagnosed with Oncology. An oncologist may also be called a cancer specialist.
The field of oncology has 3 major areas based on treatments: medical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgical oncology.
Medical oncologists treat Oncology using medication, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Radiation oncologists treat Oncology using radiation therapy, which is the use of high-energy x-rays or other particles to destroy cells.
Surgical oncologists treat Oncology using surgery, including removing the tumor and nearby tissue during a operation. This type of surgeon can also perform certain types of biopsies to help diagnose.
There are also medical terms for oncologists who specialize in caring for specific groups of patients or groups of cancers. Here are definitions for some common terms.
Geriatric oncologists work with people with Oncology who are age 65 and older. Older adults can have additional challenges. Geriatric oncologists specialize in providing the best care for older adults.
Gynecologic oncologists treat in such reproductive organs as the cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, vagina, and vulva.
Hematologist-oncologists treat blood , such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.
Neuro-oncologists treat of the brain, spine, and nervous system.
Pediatric oncologists treat in children and teens. Some types occur most often in these younger age groups. When these types occasionally occur in adults, those adult patients may choose to work with a pediatric oncologist.
Thoracic oncologists treat inside the chest area, including the lungs and esophagus.
Urologic oncologists treat in the genitourinary system, such as the bladder, kidneys, penis, prostate gland, and testicles.
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