Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Oncology (Oncologist)

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_417

Definition

Oncology is the branch of medicine dealing with the biological and chemical properties of cancer, in addition to its prevention, development, diagnosis, and treatment. An oncologist is a medical professional who practices oncology. In general, oncology mainly consists of three primary disciplines: surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology.

Surgical oncology is the field of surgery dedicated to the operative ablation of cancer. Surgery is the oldest treatment for cancer and the only treatment that can cure a patient with cancer, although chemotherapy for hematological malignances has also been known to be an effective cure. Recently, laparoscopy has emerged as a valuable tool in surgical oncology. Radiation oncology is the study of the use of radiation to destroy cancer. Radiation kills cancer cells by radiating the cells with either photons (i.e., x-rays and gamma rays) or particles (i.e., protons and electrons). Medical oncology is a subspecialty of...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References and Readings

  1. Breitbart, W. S., & Alici, Y. (2009). Psycho-oncology. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 17(6), 361–376.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. DeVita, V. T., & Lawrence, T. S. (2008). DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s cancer (cancer: principles & practice). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  3. Holland, J. C. (2009). Psycho-oncology (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychosomatic MedicineKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan