Cancer care: Taking care of cancer. When cancer is suspected, a biopsy is usually performed and the tissue is sent to a pathologist for evaluation. If a cancer diagnosis is made, an oncologist will evaluate the patient to determine the stage of the cancer. Staging usually involves a precise evaluation of the tumor, lymph nodes, and any metastasis (spread) of the disease.
Cancer is ideally treated by a multi-disciplinary team of oncologists that typically includes at least two of the three primary oncology disciplines (medical, surgical, and radiation oncology). In addition, the team usually includes a pathologist, a diagnostic radiologist and an oncology nurse. The advantage of the team approach is that it combines the unique skill sets of several different disciplines into one consulting group, as cancer treatment frequently involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
In the case of a new or difficult cancer diagnosis, a tumor board may be called upon to review the case. Tumor boards consist of medical experts from all relevant disciplines who consult on the best course of treatment for an individual patient. The team should also include at different points, a dietitian, a social worker, a nurse navigator, and a palliative care specialist whenever appropriate
- Cancer causes
In most individual cases of cancer, the exact cause of cancer is unknown. The causes may include increased genetic susceptibility; environmental insults, such as chemical exposure or smoking cigarettes; lifestyle factors, including diet; damage caused by infectious disease; and many more. Although they are not causes per se, many characteristics can influence the development of […]
- Cancer cluster
Cancer cluster: A greater-than-expected number of cancer cases that occurs within a group of people in a geographic area over a period of time. The expected number of cancer cases is calculated and compared to the observed number of cancer cases. A cancer cluster is confirmed when the observed/expected ratio is greater than 1.0, and […]
- Cancer Institute, National
Cancer Institute, National: The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S. The mission of the NCI is to “lead a national effort to reduce the burden of cancer morbidity and mortality and ultimately to prevent the disease. Through basic and clinical biomedical research and training, NCI […]
- Cancer registry
Cancer registry: This registry collects information about the occurrence (incidence) of cancer, the types of cancers that occur and their locations within the body, the extent of cancer at the time of diagnosis (disease stage), and the kinds of treatment that patients receive. In the US, these data are reported to a central statewide registry […]
- Cancer of the vulva
Cancer of the vulva: An uncommon cancer of women, is seen primarily in women over the age of 50 although it is becoming more common in younger women. Symptoms may include constant itching, severe burning or pain, whitening or roughening of the skin of the vulva, and bleeding or discharge that is not related to […]