What is Oncology?
Oncology is the area of medicine to do with treatment of cancer. Many different specialties manage cancer treatment. Surgery (Surgical Oncology) uses operations to diagnose cancer and treat it by removing it from people's bodies. Medical Oncology uses medicines or drugs to treat solid tumours such as cancer of breast, bowel, and lung. Radiation Oncology uses radiation, mostly from powerful x-ray machines, to treat tumours. Haematology (Haemato-Oncology) treats tumours of blood such as leukaemia and lymphoma. Palliative Care uses medicines to control the symptoms of cancer to alleviate any suffering.
All these specialties work closely together at the Regional Cancer and Blood Service or they are part of ADHB. Sometimes cancer treatment may involve more than one specialty team depending on your type of cancer and its extent. Much cancer can be cured nowadays or controlled, but because there is still a long way to go, we are also involved with Clinical Trials research in search of better ways of treatment. We work closely with organisations such as the Cancer Society to ensure that people who come to our service have access to information and community support services.
The staff of the Oncology Service includes specialist doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, physicists, psychologists, clerical staff and social workers. We know that cancer's impact on peoples' lives is often more than just physical. As a teaching hospital, we also have the next generation of professionals in training. There is always supervision from experienced staff.
What is Cancer?
The human body is made of millions of cells which normally grow, divide and are renewed in a controlled way. Sometimes this control is lost, and the cells keep growing. A solid group of these cells is called a tumour or "growth".