Clinical oncology is a medical specialty focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. It involves the management of patients with various types of malignancies and encompasses multiple disciplines working together to provide comprehensive care.
Clinical oncologists play a crucial role in educating individuals about cancer risk factors and implementing preventive strategies such as lifestyle modifications, screening programs (e.g., mammography for breast cancer), genetic counselling/testing for hereditary cancers, and vaccination against specific viruses linked to cancer development (e.g., HPV vaccine).
This multidisciplinary approach ensures comprehensive evaluation, accurate staging, and personalized treatment plans tailored to individual patients' needs. Clinical oncologists develop customized treatment plans based on factors such as tumour type/characteristics, stage/severity, patient's overall health status. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, hormone therapy , or combinations thereof.
Clinical oncologists address the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of cancer care by providing supportive measures that enhance patients' quality of life. This includes managing symptoms (such as pain or nausea), palliative care for advanced-stage cancers, survivorship programs to monitor long-term effects, end-of-life care discussions, and counselling/support services for patients and their families.