Oncology, at its most basic
level, involves the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
The word oncology comes from the word meaning "mass" or
"bulk," referring to tumors. A
doctor who specializes in oncology is
called an oncologist.
Oncology involves a huge range of
study. Since cancer can occur in so many of the body's systems, many
doctors choose to specialize in a particular branch of it, such as bone cancer
or blood diseases. Some doctors specialize in chemotherapy
treatments, while others focus on radiation therapy. Most doctors who
specialize in oncology serve internships
and residencies that focus on cancer treatment, usually in their
preferred branch of therapy. A specialist often serves about four years
beyond the normal residency period.
Oncology also involves research
into cancer, its causes and possible cures. This is also a wide-open
field for scientists interested in a variety of research opportunities.
Some facilities, such as St. Jude's
Children's Hospital, in Memphis, Tennessee, is primarily a research
institution. Oncology researchers
continue to look for ways to treat even the rarest forms of cancer in