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 , meaning “burden, volume, mass” and “barb”, and the Greek word λόγος (logos), meaning “study”.
Cancer survival has improved due to three main components: improved prevention efforts to reduce exposure to risk factors (e.g., tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption), improved screening of several cancers (allowing for earlier diagnosis), and improvements in treatment.
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.
Because a cancer diagnosis can cause distress and anxiety, clinicians may use a number of strategies such as SPIKES for delivering the bad news.