Oncology is the branch of medical science that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of different types of cancer. Cancer is defined as the uncontrolled growth of cells that do not serve any normal function of the normal cells and yet compete for nutrition and other chemical substances thus starving the normal cells and eventually causing them to die. The resultant necrosis of the normal cells is the reason for extreme pain and the loss of normal function that accompany cancer. Cancer is classified as benign or malignant cancer. Malignancy is the ability of the cancer cells to invade nearby tissues and thus are very hard to treat and the leading cause of death. Sometimes when the cancer is detected at a particular location in the body, it is the metastatic form of cancer that started somewhere else in the body. Benign cancer is usually not lethal and can be surgically removed. The symptoms of the benign tumor occurs only when the mass of cells that grow start pressing the internal structures. To know about the cost of cancer treatment in India you can connect with Mediflam assuring the best information and medical services.  

The most common type of malignant cancers are called carcinomas and they are responsible for more than 80% of the deaths due to cancer worldwide. Carcinomas arise from epithelial cells. These cells are part of epithelia which are cell sheets that line the walls of cavities or channels in the human body and in skin serve as the outside covering of the body. 

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Frequently asked questions about Oncology

What are the tests normally conducted for diagnosis and treatment of different types of cancer?

Biopsies of the tissue involved are usually the confirmatory test for the presence of cancer. Then there are different tests for types of cancers as different cancers present with unique set of biomarkers. For example, PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is the test done for diagnosing prostate cancer, mammogram is done for diagnosing breast cancer, Pap smear test for cervical cancer, PET scans, PET-SPECT scan, etc. To know about breast cancer treatment cost you can connect with Mediflam offering the best of medical services. 

What are the symptoms of cancer?

Symptoms can vary depending on the type of cancer and can vary from very innocuous ones like loss of appetite or unconditional weight loss to very specific like formation of ascites. Other symptoms include :

  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Persistent cough
  • Formation of lump in the body
  • Indigestion
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Persistent sore or ulcer
  • Unusual diarrhea or constipation
  • Unexplained tiredness or fatigue
  • Abdominal pain

You can opt for cancer treatment in India to understand the disease and its solution based on the type of cancer. 

What are the different types of oncologic surgeries?

Many types of oncology surgeries can be done for the treatment of cancer. The common procedures involved in surgical oncology are:

  • Excision with clear tissue margins
  • Excision en-bloc of the primary tumour and regional lymph nodes 
  • Lymph node dissection 
  • Enucleation (less common)
  • Tissue destructive methods (e.g. radiofrequency frequency ablation)
  • Isolated regional perfusion
  • Excision of metastasis (usually from brain, lung, liver, bone)
Can cancer be cured by chemotherapy alone?

Some cancers can be cured by chemotherapy alone while some require combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy or surgery followed by chemotherapy. Sometimes chemotherapy is first administered to shrink the tumour size and then the surgery is performed. 

What is the grading system in cancer?

The grading systems for different types of cancer differ. If the grading system for a particular cancer is not given, then the following system is followed : 

GX: Grade cannot be assessed (undetermined grade)

G1: Well differentiated (low grade)

G2: Moderately differentiated (intermediate grade)

G3: Poorly differentiated (high grade)

G4: Undifferentiated (high grade)

Which are the best hospitals in India for cancer treatment?

The top 10 best cancer hospitals in India are:

  1. TATA Memorial hospital, Mumbai
  2. Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Delhi
  3. Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi
  4. Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Medical Research Institute, Mumbai
  5. Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai
  6. Saifee Hospital, Mumbai
  7. Apollo Hospitals, Chennai
  8. KIDWAI Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore
  9. American Oncology Institute, Hyderabad
  10. Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai

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There are different carcinomas depending on the location they occur. The types of carcinomas depending on the cell types are:

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Other types of carcinoma

The common sites include

    • Lung
    • Colon
    • Breast 
    • Pancreas
    • Stomach
    • Esophagus
    • Prostate
    • Endometrium
    • Ovary

    Squamous cell carcinoma:

    The common sites include:

    • Skin
    • Nasal cavity
    • Oropharynx
    • Larynx
    • Lung
    • Esophagus
    • Cervix

    Other types of carcinomas:

    These include:

    • Small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC)
    • Large-cell lung carcinoma 
    • Hepatocellular carcinoma
    • Renal cell carcinoma
    • Transitional-cell carcinoma (of the urinary bladder)

    The remainder of the malignant tumors arise from nonepithelial tissues of the body. Sarcomas are the tumors that arise out of the various connective tissues and are second most common cancers after carcinomas. The most common types of sarcomas are:

    • Osteosarcoma (arises from bone-forming cell)
    • Liposarcoma (arises from fat cells)
    • Leiomyosarcoma (arises from smooth muscle cell)
    • Rhabdomyosarcoma (arises from striated/skeletal muscle cell)
    • Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (arises from adipocyte/muscle cell)
    • Fibrosarcoma (arises from connective tissue cell)
    • Angiosarcoma (arises from cells lining the blood vessels)
    • Chondrosarcoma (arises from cartilage-forming cell)
    The second most common type of cancers that are of nonepithelial origin are the cancers that are formed from the various cell types that constitute the blood forming (hematopoietic) tissues and also include the cells of the immune system. The cell types are the red blood cells, antibody-secreting (plasma) cells as well as B and T lymphocytes. The malignant cancers that are derived from these cell types are referred to as leukemia which in the literal sense means white blood. These circulate freely in the blood. Tumors of the B and T lymphocytes are called lymphomas. These aggregate to form solid tumor masses and are mostly concentrated in the lymph nodes in contrast to leukemias where the cells roam freely in the blood. Know more about cancer treatments in India with Mediflam. 

    The various type of blood cells related malignancies are:

    • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
    • Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
    • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
    • Multiple myeloma (MM)
    • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
    • Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL)
    The third and the last major group of nonepithelial tumors arises from the cells that form various components of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The tumors included in this grouping are:

      • Gliomas
      • Glioblastomas
      • Neuroblastomas
      • Schwannomas
      • Medulloblastomas

      These cancers comprise only about 1.3% of the total cancers but are responsible for around 2.5% deaths due to cancer worldwide.

      Cancer can arise in any part of the body and thus there are so many types of cancers. But there is propensity of some tumors to form more often than others and so these more commonly occurring and mortality causing tumors have been studied in detail till date. These include:

      • Breast cancer in women
      • Cervical cancer in women
      • Endometrial cancer in women
      • Prostate cancer in men
      • Testicular cancer in men
      • Lung cancer
      • Liver cancer
      • Various types of blood cancers (leukemias)
      • Pancreatic cancer
      • Colon cancer
      • Stomach cancer
      • Brain tumors
      • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

      Cancer is the third leading cause of death worldwide and has become a significant economic burden for the global economy. There will be 26 million new cancer cases and 17 million cancer deaths per year from 2030 as per the latest projections.

      Since cancer is the uncontrolled proliferation of cells, there are certain characteristics that render cells to acquire this property. These characteristics termed the hallmarks of cancer are :

      • Genome instability and mutation
      • Resisting cell death
      • The cells do not respond to death signals and generate their own growth signals
      • Enabling replicative immortality
      • Formation of new blood vessels to the cancer tissue
      • Activating invasion and metastasis
      • Tumor-promoting inflammation
      • Evading destruction by immune cells

      Cancer is caused by the conversion of proto-oncogene to oncogene thus causing loss of normal function and leading to uncontrolled proliferation eventually forming a tumor. 

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