Oncological diseases include tumor processes of various localization and histological structure. In a broad sense, they combine benign and malignant neoplasms, but practical oncology specializes mainly in the treatment of malignant tumors. Currently, oncological diseases have significantly “rejuvenated” and are truly epidemic in nature, therefore, the search for ways to prevent them, early detection and treatment is an urgent interdisciplinary problem. To solve it within individual medical specialties, narrow areas are distinguished – oncogynecology, oncourology, oncodermatology, oncophthalmology, neuro-oncology, etc.
There are many forms of tumors that differ in localization, cellular structure, degree of aggressiveness, features of the course and prognosis, and a number of other factors. In oncology, tumors are usually divided into benign, conditionally benign (borderline) and malignant. Benign neoplasms are characterized by relatively slow growth, lack of tendency to metastasis, and a good prognosis. These types of tumors include fibroids, lipomas, nevi, papillomas, leiomyomas, neurinomas, chondromas, angiomas and many others.
Conditionally benign tumors also do not metastasize, but they have the ability to cancer degeneration and multiple recurrence after removal. Examples of such oncological diseases can be adenomatous stomach polyps, atypical moles, cutaneous horn, senile keratosis, Bowen’s disease, etc. Malignant tumors are characterized by invasive growth, germination of surrounding tissues, metastasis, recurrence. These types of tumors include cancer (carcinoma), sarcoma, lymphoma.
Every year, about 10 million people are diagnosed with oncopathology in the world, and 8 million patients die from some form of cancer. In USA, every fifth compatriot is at risk of encountering cancer during his lifetime. According to WHO, the “rating” of the most common oncological diseases is as follows. Thus, the most common “female” type of cancer is breast cancer; it is closely followed by cervical cancer. The absolute leader among male oncopathology is prostate cancer.
The most frequently diagnosed and deadly types of oncological diseases, regardless of gender, are recognized: lung cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer and liver cancer. Somewhat less often, the causes of death are cancer of the bladder and kidneys, pancreas, leukemia, melanoma. Among the oncological diseases of childhood, leukemia, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, lymphoma, osteosarcoma, retinoblastoma predominate.
To date, many causes leading to the development of malignant tumors are known. Among them are unfavorable heredity, environmental problems, industrial and household hazards, stress, irrational nutrition, unhealthy habits, inactive lifestyle, viral diseases, etc. At the same time, studies show that about 80% of risk factors are potentially avoidable, i.e. most cases of cancer can be prevented. This requires the efforts of not only oncologists, but, above all, the individual himself.
For the purpose of early detection of oncological diseases, regular preventive medical examinations are offered, periodic medical examinations of a certain contingent of persons are carried out, comprehensive cancer screening programs for men and women (“onco check-up”) are being developed and implemented. All persons over 40 years of age should undergo preventive oncological examination once every 2 years, and people with a burdened background – annually. The most frequent studies included in oncoscreening are the determination of blood cancer markers (REA, AFP), ultrasound of the abdominal cavity and kidneys, thyroid gland, fluorography, FGDS, colonoscopy. For women, consultation of a gynecologist, ultrasound of the pelvic organs, colposcopy, cytological smear, determination of CA 15-3 and CA-125, mammography are mandatory; for men, consultation of a urologist, determination of PSA and ultrasound of the prostate.
The study of oncological diseases in developed countries today is one of the priority areas of medicine, and significant progress has been made in this direction. Along with traditional methods of treating oncological diseases (surgical removal of tumors and metastases, radiation therapy, chemotherapeutic treatment, hormone therapy), effective methods of physical impact on tumor tissue (cryoablation, laser therapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound, hyperthermia, etc.) are used. A promising direction in oncology is cancer immunotherapy with the use of monoclonal antibodies, antitumor vaccines, activated T-lymphocytes, etc. Experimental types of cancer treatment that need further study and clinical testing today include gene therapy, neutron capture therapy, nanotherapy, etc.
Every patient should remember that cancer is not a verdict, and in the early stages most tumors can be completely cured. An important role in the victory over cancer is played by the volitional efforts of the patient himself, the moral attitude to a favorable outcome. The website “Medic Journal” contains the most complete description of oncological diseases, provides information on methods of their diagnosis and treatment.