An oncologist is a doctor who diagnoses, treats, and prevents benign and malignant neoplasms.
Oncology is a highly specialized branch of medicine, the tasks of which are to study the mechanisms of the appearance and development of various tumors. As you know, special attention is paid specifically to malignant formations, united under the general name "cancer". The results of the work of oncologists are methods of treating cancer and fighting the growth of any tumors at all stages of development. If you were looking for an answer to the question "what does an oncologist treat?", Then, following from all of the above, it is easy to draw the correct conclusion. An oncologist deals with the treatment of tumors.
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- The main directions of oncology
- Specialization of an oncologist
- What does an oncologist treat?
- Diseases treated by an oncologist
- When should I go to the oncologist?
- When should you visit oncolga?
- Examination by an oncologist
- Appointment with an oncologist
The main directions of oncology
With the spread of cancer and the increase in the amount of information collected about them, the following separate directions emerged:
- Oncodermatology - studies of skin tumors;
- Oncoendocrinology - tumors of various endocrine glands;
- Oncohematology - tumors of the hematopoietic organs, circulatory and lymphatic systems;
- Oncogastroenterology and Oncoproctology - the study of tumors of the digestive system and rectum, respectively;
- Oncohepatology - liver tumors;
- Onconephrology - tumors of the kidneys and excretory canals;
- Oncomammology - neoplasms in the mammary glands;
- Oncogynecology and Oncoandrology - tumors of the glands and organs of the female and male reproductive systems, respectively;
- Oncourology - tumors of the bladder and ureters;
Oncopulmology - pulmonary neoplasms;
- Cardio-oncology - heart tumors;
- Neuro-oncology - neoplasms in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord);
- Psycho-oncology - studies the impact of cancer on the mental state of patients, as well as their relationship with medical personnel and loved ones;
- Oncoimmunology - investigates the possibilities of immunological drugs in the treatment of cancer.
- Radiation Oncology - develops methods of treating tumors using radiation;
- Oncological chemotherapy - explores the method of treating cancer with the help of antineoplastic agents (chemicals and drugs that inhibit the development of neoplasms);
Oncosurgery - the use of surgical methods to remove tumors and eliminate the consequences of oncological diseases;
- Pediatric and Geriatric Oncology - studies the course of oncological diseases in children and older people;
- Oncoepidemiology - carries out statistics on cancer diseases in certain areas and among the general population.
Specialization of an oncologist
Oncological diseases, in essence, are systemic, so the oncologist must understand the structural features and treatment of all organs and tissues. In addition, each oncologist has specialized skills and knowledge about his organ or system (for example, mammalian oncologist, gastroenterologist oncologist, etc.). Simply put - the oncologist directs the treatment of those organs in which the tumor develops.
What does an oncologist treat?
Neoplasms that develop to pathological sizes fall within the scope of the oncologist. They can be relatively harmless (benign) or aggressive towards the body (malignant).
Let's take a closer look at their distinctive features:
- Benign tumors are composed of cells similar to those in the tissues in which proliferation occurs. These cells do not have a tendency to infiltrate or metastasize, therefore they do not penetrate into adjacent organs and tissues. In addition, the growth rate of benign neoplasms in most cases is rather low.
- Malignant tumors are characterized by the intensity of their growth. Their cells acquire pathological activity, the ability to penetrate healthy tissues and metastasize to distant organs.
Diseases treated by an oncologist
Modern oncologists are able to treat a variety of cancers:
Leukemia is the proliferation of blasts - immature cells (acute form) or maturing and mature cells of the bone marrow (chronic form), leading to a deterioration in hematopoiesis processes up to its complete cessation, the formation of cytopenia and suppression of immunity.
- Melanoma is the appearance of a malignant neoplasm from pigment skin cells that produce melanin (birthmarks, moles, etc.).
- Lymphogranulomatosis is a tumor in the lymphatic system that can quickly spread through the lymphatic vessels and metastasize to various organs.
- Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow that leads to the gradual destruction of bone tissue.
- Sarcomas - originate from soft extra-skeletal tissues (muscles, fatty layer, blood and lymph vessels, mesothelium, etc.).
- Neuroendocrine tumors - these include gastroenteropancreatic neoplasms, cancerous lesions of islet cells, tumors in the endocrine glands (prostate, mammary, adrenal, ovary, thyroid, etc.).
Mediastinal neoplasms - appear between the lungs, under the sternum.
- Tumors of the central nervous system - appear in the nerve tissues of the spinal cord and brain, disrupt the coordination function and lead to severe nervous disorders.
- Fibroids are also known as fibroids. Often occurs in women of reproductive age in the uterus. It can be in a benign condition for a long time, but without appropriate treatment, in most cases, the tumor becomes malignant.
Read more: Causes and symptoms of fibroids
When should I go to the oncologist?
Medical scientists have identified a number of specific symptoms, in the presence of which any person is strongly recommended to undergo an oncological examination.
- There are signs of bleeding from internal organs (from the nose, genitals, along with urine or feces);
Strong weight loss was recorded, for which there is no adequate explanation;
- Skin growths and suspicious changes in moles or warts;
- Swollen and thickened lymph nodes without signs of infection;
- Seals in soft tissues (special attention is paid to the mammary glands);
- Migraines accompanied by impaired coordination, vision or hearing;
- Regular, causeless diarrhea with abnormal rectal discharge;
- Prolonged lack of appetite, nausea and a sharp deterioration in well-being;
- Discomfort associated with pressure in the abdominal cavity, chest, throat, pelvic area, which does not go away for a long time.
When should you visit oncolga?
Even if the typical symptoms of cancer are absent, there are other equally important reasons to visit an oncologist:
- Preventive follow-up after undergoing treatment for any cancer. It is carried out twice a year or more often (as prescribed by the attending physician);
- Women who have reached the age of 45 should regularly visit a mammalian oncologist. For nulliparous women, this age is reduced to 40 years. It is time for men to come for preventive observations to an oncologist after 50 years.
- Liver cirrhosis, intestinal polyps and mastopathy are the reason for regular visits to the oncologist.
- All family members of a cancer patient need to be screened due to a genetic predisposition to cancer;
- Workers in hazardous industries with a high level of known carcinogens (sunlight, dust, gases, radiation) are required to undergo an oncologist's examination annually.
Examination by an oncologist
The main task of the oncologist during the examination is to identify the tumor and study its properties.
A patient who has received a referral to an oncologist must undergo an initial examination, which consists in:
- Collecting anamnesis and compiling a list of complaints, on the basis of which the primary symptoms of the disease are compiled;
- Visual examination with palpation of organs, the condition of which the patient complains about;
- Assigning tests to identify a specific type of tumor.
Among the procedures that are necessary to collect information about a tumor, oncologists are most often used:
- Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging - layered images of a specific part or the whole body, on which you can see the location, shape and size of the tumor;
Ultrasound - helps to detect and assess the size of the neoplasm in the body cavities;
- Mammography is a specific procedure for examining the mammary glands;
- A blood test to detect tumor markers;
- Cytological examination of a smear from the cervix;
- Puncture of pathological tissues followed by histological examination.
Appointment with an oncologist
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