Medical Oncology

Medical Oncology

Cancer treatment is provided by a team of qualified medical oncologists experienced in diagnosis, treatment planning, and follow-up with chemotherapy, hormonal, biological, and targeted therapy at Shri Jagannath Charitable Cancer Hospital

Shri Jagannath Charitable Cancer Hospital strives to provide world-class cancer care services by leveraging cutting-edge technology and the expertise of its medical oncologists. We offer a full range of cancer treatment options, including medical oncology, surgical oncology, and radiation therapy.

What is Medical Oncology?

Medical oncology is a branch of cancer treatment that includes chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. When combined with other cancer treatments such as radiation oncology and surgical oncology, it effectively treats cancer.

Medical Oncology

Treatment Options in Medical Oncology

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancer. These drugs kill cancer cells by halting or slowing their growth. Chemotherapy is typically used to treat recurrent cancers (cancer cells that reappear after treatment) or metastatic cancers (cancer cells that spread to other parts of the body). Chemotherapy drugs are administered orally, intravenously, or directly into the fluid surrounding the brain or the abdominal cavity.

Types of Chemotherapy

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is administered prior to surgical or radiation procedures. It is advised when tumours are too large to be operated on or when the tumor's location makes surgery difficult.

  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy drugs shrink the tumour to allow for surgery.
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy is administered following surgical or radiation procedures. It is recommended that any remaining cancer cells that are not visible in imaging tests be cleaned up. This treatment helps to reduce the likelihood of cancer recurrence.
  • Palliative chemotherapy to manage cancer symptoms, palliative chemotherapy is recommended.

Chemotherapy Consequences

Chemotherapy drugs also have a tendency to destroy rapidly dividing healthy cells in the intestines, mouth, and other areas, resulting in some side effects. Chemotherapy side effects usually disappear after the treatment. Chemotherapy side effects include:

  • Hair thinning
  • Nauseousness or vomiting
  • Anaemia
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Platelet count is low

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy is a type of advanced cancer treatment in which drugs are used to target specific proteins and genes found in cancer cells and other cells related to cancer growth. The drugs prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.

Targeted therapy is classified into two types.

  • Small Molecule Drug Therapy - These drugs enter cancer cells, target proteins, and block signals for cell division and growth.
  • Monoclonal Antibodies - These are antibodies created in a laboratory that are similar to antibodies produced by the immune system. They target and destroy the proteins in cancer cells.

Side-effects of Targeted Therapy

Though less harmful than chemotherapy, targeted therapy does have some rare side effects. Some examples are:

  • Inflammation in the liver
  • Diarrhoea
  • Skin rashes or acne
  • Bleeding
  • Hair discoloration
  • Blood pressure is high
  • GI perforation
  • Sperm production is hampered
  • Issues with blood clotting

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a innovative medical oncology procedure that uses the body's own immune cells to halt cancer growth. The procedure triggers the body's immune system, which destroys the infected cells. Medical oncologists use immune cells from the patient's body or laboratory-made treatments to improve immune system function.

Immunotherapy is classified into three types.

  • Drug Therapy - Anti-cancer drugs that boost the immune system and produce antibodies.
  • Dendritic Cell Therapy - This therapy employs T-cells to combat cancer cells. T-cells are extracted from the blood and sent to a lab for modification. The patient's body is then injected with the modified T-cells to fight infection and cancer.
  • Dendritic Cell Therapy - This therapy employs T-cells to combat cancer cells. T-cells are extracted from the blood and sent to a lab for modification. The patient's body is then injected with the modified T-cells to fight infection and cancer.
  • Cancer Vaccines - Cancer vaccines are injected into patients to stimulate the immune system into producing antibodies to kill the antigens and other materials that cause cancer cell growth.

Side effects of Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy improves immune system function but may cause some side effects such as

  • Reactions to allergens
  • Inflammation
  • Pneumonitis
  • Retention of fluid
  • Blisters, dryness, or redness of the skin
  • Fatigue
  • Bodyache
  • Dizziness
  • Blood pressure can be high or low
  • Edoema

Hormone Replacement Therapy

This therapy is used to treat cancers that are hormone-dependent or sensitive to hormones. Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other hormone-sensitive cancers are examples. To stop the growth of cancer cells, hormone therapy uses medications to stop or reduce the production of hormones in the body.

Side-effects of Hormone Therapy

Because hormone therapy involves reducing or stopping hormone production, there are some side effects associated with hormone deficiency. Some of the side effects are as follows:

  • Vaginal dryness and hot flashes
  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhoea and constipation are examples of digestive system problems
  • Gaining weight
  • Headache
  • Memory lapses
  • Hair thinning or loss
  • Joint discomfort
  • Thickening of the bones
  • Depression