Are you undergoing a cancer screening test? Or waiting for a diagnosis whether you have cancer or not. We understand the situation is very scary for new patients and often confusing experience. Cancer has its own language, and if you are recently diagnosed with cancer, you may come across many unfamiliar terms. This blog explains the basic terminologies used for cancer helping you understand what’s going around and regain a sense of control.
Oncology is the branch of medicine that researches, identifies and treats cancer. An oncologist is a physician who specializes in treating cancer and provides medical care for a person diagnosed with cancer.
A tumor is a mass of tissue that’s formed by an accumulation of abnormal cells. But not all tumors are cancerous. The tumors which are not cancerous are described as ‘Benign’ while cancerous tumors are ‘Malignant’. Malignant tumors can invade nearby tissues while benign ones do not.
Your physician may remove a piece of suspicious tissue so that it can be analyzed in a laboratory and examined closely. A biopsy helps determine the presence or extent of cancer. It will also help to diagnose the type of cancer helping to decide the best approach to treatment. A biopsy is commonly performed by a surgeon or interventional radiologist, using needles to remove a tissue sample for most biopsies, however, in some cases, you may require to remove tissue surgically.
It means that cancer spreads to a different body part from where it started. Cancer that has spread is a metastasis.
The size of cancer and intensity of the disease is usually described with the system of stages. Each type of cancer has its own staging system. Staging cancer helps oncologists for prognosis and design treatment suggestions for each cancer patient. It establishes a common language helping oncologists communicate about the cancer intensity and coordinate on the best possible treatment options.
Your oncologist may you medication to Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in your body. Chemotherapy has multiple types that work in diverse ways to kill the cancer cells. It is a systemic treatment, where the drug flows through the blood to nearly every part of the body. Some chemotherapy medications are given orally while others are intravenous.
- Radiation therapy:
It is a treatment type in which, your oncologists use high energy radiation to kill or shrink the tumors. It can be external radiation where the source of radiation is outside the body or internal radiation that works inside the body.
Immunotherapy uses the patient’s immune system to treat cancer. Similar to chemotherapy, there are different types of immunotherapies with various modes of action depending on the severity and the type of cancer.
Never hesitate to ask you Oncologist:
As the oncology is the vast field and there are multiple types of cancer & its treatments, you may come across many other new medical terms as your cancer treatment progresses. The best oncologist at MPCT Hospital Mumbai advises cancer patients not to hesitate to ask your physician or member of the cancer care team to explain the new term. We at MPCT Cancer Hospital firmly believes understanding the illness helps patients take better care of themselves and ensures the cancer treatment is as efficient and effective as possible. Get in touch with our cancer care team to clarify all your doubts regarding your cancer diagnosis or treatment. We are happy to assist you.