Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.
Why cancer is caused?
Cancer is caused by changes (mutations) to the DNA within cells. The DNA inside a cell is packaged into a large number of individual genes, each of which contains a set of instructions telling the cell what functions to perform, as well as how to grow and divide. Errors in the instructions can cause the cell to stop its normal function and may allow a cell to become cancerous. A number of forces can cause gene mutations, such as smoking, radiation, viruses, cancer–causing chemicals (carcinogens), obesity, hormones, chronic inflammation and a lack of exercise. (Source: www.mayoclinic.org).
Is cancer curable?
To determine the odds of survival for each cancer, doctors refer to the 5-year survival rate. As per American Cancer Society, this is percentage of people who have been cancer-free 5 years after diagnosis.
Table Showing 5-year Survival Rate after Diagnosis for Specific Cancers
|Type of Cancer||5-year Survival Rate|
|Cervical Cancer||About 100 percent|
|Breast Cancer (Early Stages 0 and 1)||100 percent|
|Testicular Cancer||95.30 percent|
|Prostate Cancer||100 percent|
|Thyroid Cancer (Depends on Tissue Type)||100 percent|
|Hodgkin Lymphoma||95 percent|
The treatment for cancer could involve one or more of the following approaches:
- Chemotherapy – The goal here is to destroy the cancerous cells with medications. The side-effects, however, can be severe.
- Immunotherapy – Here medications are used to boost the body’s immune system which would then be better equipped to fight the cancerous cells. Checkpoint Inhibitors and Adoptive Cell Transfer are treatments supported here.
- Hormone Therapy – Especially used to deal with breast cancer or prostrate cancer, the medications will work on the hormones and influence them to work as designed in a normal human body.
- Radiation Therapy – This involves the use of high-dose radiation to kill cancerous cells. Radiation therapy is also used to shrink a tumor following which surgery can be performed.
- Stem Cell Treatment – This treatment approach is particularly effective against blood-related cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma. Normal healthy cells are introduced into the body after removing the cancer cells.