Oncology (Cancer) - Overview

What is oncology?

Oncology is a branch of medicine that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and management of cancer. The main divisions of oncology are:

  • Medical oncology
  • Radiation oncology
  • Surgical oncology

An oncologist may also be called a cancer specialist.

Oncologists will design appropriate treatment based on:

  • The type of cancer diagnosed
  • The location of the cancer
  • The stage of the cancer
  • Individual health, needs and preferences

The goal of treatment is to remove the cancer cells from the body and prevent the cancer from spreading.

Types of oncologists

Throughout the course of your cancer treatment, you could see different types of oncologists:

  • Medical oncologists treat cancer using medications such as chemotherapy, targeted treatment or immunotherapy
  • Radiation oncologists treat cancer using radiotherapy
  • Surgical oncologists specialise in the surgical removal of tumours and may perform certain types of biopsies for cancer diagnosis

Types of cancer conditions

There are four main types of oncological conditions (cancer):

  • Carcinomas begin in the skin or tissues that cover the surface of internal organs and glands
  • Sarcomas start in the tissues that support and connect parts of the body
  • Leukemias start in the blood-producing organs and affects the blood
  • Lymphomas begin in the lymph nodes and affects the blood

Benign vs malignant tumours

A tumour is a mass of cells that serves no purpose in the function of the body.

A benign tumour is non-cancerous. It is made up of cells that will not invade other tissues and organs of the body, although it may grow abnormally.

A malignant tumour is another name for cancer. It is composed of cells that invade or spread to other parts of the body, either by directly growing into neighbouring organs or tissues, or by spreading to other parts of the body through the blood or lymphatic system (metastasising).

Our approach

A cancer diagnosis cancer is an emotionally, physically and psychologically draining journey for both the patient and carer.

At Gleneagles Hospital, our experienced oncologists work hand-in-hand with a team of surgeons, radiotherapists, specialty nurses and counsellors to provide holistic care that supports you throughout your treatment.

We offer a comprehensive range of treatments including:

  • Cancer screening
  • Medical oncology
  • Paediatric oncology
  • Palliative care
  • Radiation oncology

We are supported by the Parkway Cancer Centre at Gleneagles Hospital.

Why choose Gleneagles Hospitals?

Established for more than 60 years in Singapore, Gleneagles Hospital provides trusted healthcare with the needs of our patients in mind. Our oncologists work with surgeons, radiotherapists, specialty nurses and counsellors to provide holistic care to you.

We aim to help you navigate cancer treatment with success and regain your quality of life.

This page has been reviewed by our medical content reviewers.

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