Oncology is the branch of medicine that studies tumors (cancer) and seeks to understand their development, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. A medical professional who practices oncology is an oncologist.
The oncologist often coordinates the multidisciplinary care of cancer patients, which may involve physiotherapy, counselling, clinical genetics, to name but a few. On the other hand, the oncologist often has to liaise with pathologists on the exact biological nature of the tumor that is being treated.
Oncology is concerned with:
- The diagnosis of cancer
- Therapy (e.g. surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other modalities)
- Follow-up of cancer patients after successful treatment
- Palliative care of patients with terminal malignancies
- Ethical questions surrounding cancer care
- Screening efforts of: populations, or of the relatives of patients (in types of cancer that are thought to have a hereditary basis, such as breast cancer).
See Wikipedia, Oncology.