Cancer Prevention and Screening

Cancer can strike anyone at anytime, thus, routine cancer screening and prevention is necessary so that the disease can be caught early and eradicated. Screening means to check the body for cancer before symptoms arise.  Screening might include a mammogram (to check for breast cancer), a Pap smear (to check for cervical cancer) or a colonoscopy (to check for colon cancer). There are dozens of other exams to screen for other known cancers. Prevention is equally important. A person can help reduce the risk of cancer by implementing a healthy diet and exercise program, eliminating smoking, reducing their alcohol intake and protecting themselves from sun exposure.

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Chemotherapy is the medical term used to describe any type of cancer treatment involving the use of chemical agents to stop cancerous tumors and cells from growing. More than 50% of all people diagnosed with cancer will receive chemotherapy as part of their treatment process and for millions of men and women it is a highly effective form of treatment.  People undergoing chemotherapy will be prescribed a regime (a plan and schedule) from their oncologist that will include chemotherapy drugs to fight the cancer, as well as drugs to manage the side effects of chemotherapy.

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Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic imaging refers to the technologies and processes a physician will use to create images in order to look inside of the human body so that specific diseases can be revealed and diagnosed. The technology used to conduct the diagnostic image will depend on the patient’s symptoms as well as what part of the body is to be examined. Examples of diagnostic imaging tests include x-rays, CT scans, nuclear medicine scans, MRI scans and ultrasounds.

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Genitourinary Oncology

Genitourinary oncology is the practice of studying, diagnosing, treating and screening cancers related to the male reproductive organs (such as the prostate and testes) as well as the urinary system in both male and females (including the bladder and kidneys).  A urologist is a physician that specializes in both the male and female urinary tract, as well as the male reproductive organs, and is usually the one that will initially diagnose a cancer or tumor within these areas of the human body.

Gynecologic Oncology

Gynecologic oncology is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on cancers within the female reproductive system—specifically malignant tumors that arise in the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina, and vulva.  A gynecologist/obstetrician is a physician that studies the female reproductive system and can typically diagnose cancerous cells within one of the related organs by conducting a routine test such as a Pap test, pelvic exam or sonogram.

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Hematology is the medical study of blood and blood-producing organs. A physician who practices hematology is called a hematologist and is concerned with the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention of blood-related diseases.  These particular types of diseases range from certain leukemias and blood clotting disorders to anemia and hematologic malignancies.

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Laboratory Services

When a patient has blood work performed, a urinalysis or another medical test done in order to check for diseases and cancers, the sample is usually sent to a laboratory for further examination.  Most hospitals have clinical laboratories located on the grounds of their facilities for inpatients as well as outpatients, and they typically accept medical samples from outside physicians and health care providers.  Common laboratory services include blood banking, chemistry, pathology, microbiology, urinalysis and the analysis of other medically related tests.

Medical Oncology

Medical oncology is the branch of medicine that deals with cancer. A medical physician who practices oncology is called an oncologist.  Medical oncology is concerned with the diagnosis of any type of cancer in a person, as well as the therapy required for treatment (surgery, chemotherapy or radiation), palliative care (for terminal patients) and the on-going screening one will need to receive to ensure the cancer has not returned or moved to another part of the body. There are several types of specialties and sub-specialties within oncology. Typically, an oncologist will develop an interest and expertise in the management of a particular type of cancer.

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Radiation Oncology

Radiation oncology (also called radiation therapy or radiotherapy) is the specialization of treating, controlling and curing certain diseases and cancers.  This is accomplished with high-energetic, strong, beams of radiation, along with other various forms of radiation emitting sources.  Radiation therapy can be used in conjunction with surgery or chemotherapy to treat cancer.