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A branch of medicine that deals with the development, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer


Oncology is a branch of medical science concerned primarily on tumours and cancers. It aims to understand their origin and development. It is also involved in providing proper treatment, diagnosis, and management of tumours and cancers. A specialist in this field is referred to as an oncologist.

Oncology has three main divisions according to the treatments employed. These are medical oncology, surgical oncology, and radiation oncology. The medical oncology is focused on the treatment of cancers and tumours. Thus, it encompasses chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, etc. Surgical oncology is concerned mainly at the treatment of cancer by employing surgical procedures. Radiation oncology employs radiation in the treatment of cancer and tumours.

There are also different sub-specialties of oncology: neuro-oncology, ocular oncology, head and neck oncology, thoracic oncology, breast oncology, gastrointestinal oncology, bone and musculoskeletal oncology, genitourinary oncology, gynecologic oncology, pediatric oncology, hemato-oncology, preventive oncology, geriatric oncology, molecular oncology, oncopathology, veterinary oncology, etc.

Word origin: Greek ónkos (“lump, mass, bulk”) +‎ -logy ‎(“study of”), Greek logía, from lógos (“word”)

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