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Holistic Oncology Treatment, From Diagnosis to Post-Recovery

Oncology is the study of cancer and its repercussions on the human body. Curing cancer is one of the primary endeavors undertaken by the global medical community. While there is no known cure for cancer to date, it is possible to fully recover from some cancers if detected early. Oncologists play a key role in ensuring a speedy recovery from cancer, from initial diagnosis to post-treatment rehabilitation. A cancer doctor will also advise you on feasible treatments, based on the specific cancer, your medical history, and the degree of cancer spread, among other factors.

Cancer recovery can be a lengthy process, especially in cases where the cancer is actively metastasizing i.e., spreading to other sites in the body. Concurrent cancer treatment options also have potential side effects to consider before treatment. After an initial pathology report and screening tests, your oncologist will prescribe a treatment plan outlining every procedure in detail.

Depending on your cancer symptoms and type, you may have to consult multiple oncology sub-specialists to fine-tune your treatment for effective recovery. From a broad perspective, oncology can be divided into distinct specializations, each focusing on a particular aspect of cancer diagnosis. Some main avenues of oncology treatment include:

  • - Surgical oncology: This branch of oncology deals with the surgical treatment (e.g., excision) of any tumors in the body. They will often be the first point of contact in case of cancer suspicion, as they also perform biopsies to assess for the presence of tumor cells in affected tissue.
  • - Radiation oncology: Cancer doctors in this sub-specialization perform radiation therapy to treat cancer. Radiation therapy is one of the most popular methods of cancer treatment administered worldwide.
  • - Pediatric oncology: Cancer cases in children require holistic medical attention, as their physiology differs slightly from that of an adult. Pediatric oncologists provide dedicated care for children with critical cancer symptoms, ensuring their complete recovery.
  • - Hematology-oncology: Complex cancers like leukemia and lymphoma require a different treatment approach from other cancer treatments, as blood is a central connective tissue in the body. Hematology specialists in oncology also treat noncancerous blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia.

You will typically be directed to visit a cancer doctor by your general physician if they suspect a tumor or anomaly in a part of the body. Before visiting an oncology specialist in Dubai, however, it is important to assess the current state of your tumor to facilitate a prognosis at the clinic.

When should I visit an oncologist?

From an overarching perspective, you may be referred to consult with an oncology doctor for one of two reasons:

  • i) To assess the cancerous nature of a particular growth or anomaly in the body, or
  • ii) To prescribe and supervise a suitable cancer treatment regimen in case of a positive diagnosis.

In the first instance, an oncology specialist will focus on keeping you informed and at peace regarding the possibility of cancer. After an initial assessment of your symptoms, your consultant oncologist will prescribe diagnostic tests (blood/urine tests, scans, and biopsies) depending on the nature and degree of abnormal cell growth. Throughout this process, your oncology doctor will keep you in the loop about:

  • - What procedures are being performed,
  • - Why they need to be performed, and
  • - The inference from the results.

If you test positive for cancer, your oncologist will prescribe a feasible cancer treatment method, with subsequent consultations at every stage. Treatment methods vary depending on the affected organ(s), stage of cancer, symptoms, and other factors.

Your general physician will typically be able to provide insight into suspicious tissue and refer you to an oncologist during regular checkups. However, it is important to know the warning signs of cancer beforehand, as most cancer treatments have higher rates of success during the initial stages.

You may need to visit an oncologist near you if:

  • - You notice abnormal wart-like growths in specific regions of your body
  • - You see blood/sputum during coughing bouts
  • - Undergo sudden, inexplicable weight loss/metabolic changes/fatigue
  • - You experience drastic changes in bowel movements

You might also be advised to consult a hematology-oncologist to provide more insight into disorders such as thrombosis and sickle-cell anemia. While these conditions are not cancers, an oncologist can assist in streamlining the cancer treatment procedure.

The myAster application facilitates the process of scheduling appointments with the best oncologists in Dubai, all in one intuitive interface. Through the platform, you can filter oncology doctors available for consultation based on factors such as the languages spoken by the practitioners, location, sub-specialties, and much more.

Common Procedures and Treatments

Once an individual tests positive for cancer, their oncology specialist will prescribe a specific treatment region after taking a holistic perspective of the cancer’s proliferation. You may be prescribed a combination of treatment procedures, based on the extent of symptoms, medical history, and other factors. Some common treatment procedures include:

  • - Surgical procedures: If the cancer is in its preliminary stages and still localized in a specific region, surgery might be an appropriate method to eradicate the tumor tissue. As an inpatient procedure, tumor removal surgery is performed under the supervision of your oncologist and surgeons, who will also oversee your post-surgery recovery.
  • - Radiation therapy: Radiation treatment for cancer is among the more common treatments. It is conducted across multiple sessions under the supervision of your oncology doctor, who will also prescribe additional medication to help you cope with any side effects of the treatment. Depending on the degree of cancer spread, the specific type of radiation treatment you receive will differ. For more localized tumors, small fragments of irradiated material could prove effective. For more severe cancers, full beam radiation treatment might be required.
  • - Chemotherapy: This cancer treatment type is administered by medical oncologists and can be performed through multiple methods. For instance, depending on the organ affected, your oncologist can prescribe hormonal or chemical therapy, with additional medication to help with the repercussions of the treatment.

Throughout the process of cancer recovery, your oncology specialist in Dubai will also provide pointers on lifestyle changes you can make to get accustomed to the cancer treatment you are receiving. They will also advise you on post-treatment rehabilitation and recovery.

myAster allows you to filter and shortlist the right oncology doctor in Dubai for your consultations, putting your convenience at the forefront. To enable streamlined checkups, you can also opt for online video consultations with your specialist. Choose the smart way for medical appointment scheduling with myAster, and never worry about missed/overdue consultations again.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some questions I should ask during my oncology consultation?

During consultation with your oncologist, it is prudent to enquire about the specifics of treatment, such as potential side effects, duration/number of sessions, success rate, and so on.

If I am advised to visit an oncologist, does it mean I have cancer?

No, in most cases, you will be advised to visit an oncologist only to rule out the possibility of cancer, ensuring your peace of mind.

Is prostate cancer curable?

Prostate cancer is 100% curable if detected at an early stage of its proliferation. Regular prostate exams are essential, given how common the disease is in men.

How do I know if a mole on my skin is cancerous or not?

While only a biopsy can provide an accurate diagnosis, it is possible to gauge the cancerous nature of skin aberrations using telltale signs, such as size, discoloration, and spread.

Are some cancers preventable?

Thanks to advancements in modern medicine, some cancers are entirely preventable. For example, most cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), against which vaccines exist.
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