What Is Oncology and How It Works

What Is Oncology and How It Works

Cancer still is a leading cause of death in America, though survival rates continue to grow because of advances in the detection, management, and treatment of cancer. Approximately 17 million new cases of cancer were recorded globally back in 2018.

Thanks to leaps in modern oncology, cancers can be detected early and treated. Due to the continually rising number of new cases, OC Wellness and Specialty Pharmacy continues to provide quality treatment to help improve the lives of many patients.

Since oncology is a broad branch of medicine, you cannot understand how it works without dissecting the main branches of oncology.

What Is Oncology?

Oncology in Orange, CA, is a branch of medicine that deals with cancers and tumors. The word “onco” refers to tumor or mass, and “logy” refers to the study. Therefore, oncology is the study of cancer.

Clinical oncology in Orange, CA, consists of three main disciplines:

  • Medical Oncology
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Radiation Oncology

Medical Oncology

In this specialty, cancer is treated using immunotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and hormonal therapy. Medical oncology typically works in conjunction with radiation or surgical oncology to give the best possible outcomes.

In a nutshell, this specialty focuses on treating cancer using the medicine. Medical oncologists spend a lot of time in clinical research since it is an essential part of medical oncology. Medical oncologists are trained to work well in a multidisciplinary team, where they can advise on all areas of the treatment. This includes radiotherapy and surgery.

  • Chemotherapy

In chemotherapy, drugs found in our pharmacy in Orange, CA, are used to kill the cancerous cells. Chemotherapy aids in slowing or stopping the growth of the cancer cells, which can multiply rapidly. The only downside is that it can harm healthy cells in the process. This damage is what causes side effects.

Typically the side effects of chemotherapy subside after you stop taking the medication. There are two categories of chemotherapy—Neoadjuvant, which is administered before radiotherapy or surgery, and Adjuvant, which is administered after radiation or surgery.

Chemotherapy can also be used to kill cancer cells that have come back. It is also used in metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body).

Earlier, there was a limited number of drugs available as there are today. Now at our pharmacy in Orange, there are several options. We can administer first, second, third, and fourth line drugs.

  • Immunotherapy

This is an innovative breakthrough in the treatment of cancer. It deals with activating your antibodies to build immunity and fight against cancer cells. It aims to help the body use its cells or treatment is introduced to restore your immune system function.

  • Targeted Therapy 

Targeted therapy uses drugs to treat cancer but not the same way as traditional chemotherapy. In this modality, cancer is inhibited from growing and spreading to other organs. They target specific proteins and genes. These genes are found in cancer cells.

  • Hormone Therapy

Some cancers are hormone-dependent, and so hormone therapy uses medicines in our pharmacy in Orange, CA, to block or reduce hormone production. This, in turn, will stop cancer from growing or slow down its growth.

Surgical Oncology

In this specialty, surgery is used to treat cancer. Surgery removes the cancerous cells. It can be done in conjunction with other treatments. Surgery can aid the caregivers to diagnose cancer, stage cancer, and plan an alternative treatment method.

Surgery is not effective in treating some types of cancers like leukemia, where there are no tumors to remove. At times, the patient might not be healthy enough to undergo surgery.

Radiation Oncology

In radiation oncology, cancer cells are destroyed using invisible high energy beams or rays of subatomic particles. This stops the cancer cells from growing and dividing.

Radiation oncology can be a local treatment like surgery, where it is directed to destroy only the cancerous cells. Regional treatment is employed when the affected area is broader. It is a rare occurrence for a patient to receive radiation therapy for the whole body.

Radiation can be administered from an external radiation machine. At times, there is an implant that is placed permanently or temporarily near or directly into the tumor. External radiation is an outpatient service, but for internal radiation therapy, you will have to stay in the hospital for a few days.

Irrespective of the specialty, we at OC Wellness and Specialty Pharmacy are ready to cater to your needs. Contact us today.

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