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Oncology Terms Glossary

When a group of cells grow abnormally without the normal cellular control mechanisms, they develop into tumors. The tumors sometimes grow rapidly and end up being referred to as cancer. Oncology is the medical field that is concerned with tumors; the tumor’s properties, how the tumors are caused and how they are treated. A referral to an Oncologist (doctor who practices in the field of oncology) is usually the first step to a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Medical oncologists diagnose the cancer, stage it and prescribe the treatment course, surgical oncologists perform the procedures to remove the tumors and radiation oncologists administer radiation therapy to treat the tumors.

According to The Cancer Cure Foundation more than half a million Americans die every year from cancer. This number translates to an estimated 1,500 deaths per day. Taken out of context this number is staggering because it does not take into context the number of cancer survivors; a number that is on the rise. For people diagnosed with cancer, the diagnosis seems unreal but knowing what to expect makes it easier to proceed. This includes understanding the causes of cancer, treatments and the cancer survival rate. Cancer may be the second leading cause of death in the United States but improvements in the field are increasing survival rates. To increase survival odds, patients are encouraged to keep abreast with oncology related breakthrough and news.

Finding resourceful information related to cancer or approved oncology drugs can be difficult.   The US Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has set up FDA Oncology Tools that simplifies search for information. The FDA also has information available on through the Office of Oncology Drug Products. The National Cancer Institute offers comprehensive information on Cancer including information on clinical trials and cancer statistics.

Oncology Glossaries and Dictionaries

There are different criteria to look at when looking for a physician or finding a cancer hospital  to help a patient deal with their cancer course of action. The NCI recommends patients that patients check the physician’s training and credentials, get a second opinion and find a treatment center that fits within their health insurance plan.   The following list is compiled by US News. The hospitals are ranked based on different criteria such as reputation, mortality index and staffing issues.

Top Ten Adult Oncology Hospitals

1. University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Houston, TX           

2. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York New York, NY

3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore Baltimore, MD         

4. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.  Rochester, MN     

5. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Boston, MA            

6. University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle Seattle, WA            

7. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Boston, MA            

8. University of California, San Francisco Medical Center San Francisco, CA

9. Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, Calif Palo Alto, CA          

10.  Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA    

Top Ten Ranked Pediatric Cancer Hospitals   

1. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA   

2. Children's Hospital Boston Boston, MA            

3. Texas Children's Hospital, Houston Houston, TX           

4. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, OH        

5. Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle Seattle, WA            

6. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis Memphis, TN         

7.  Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Baltimore Baltimore, MD       

8. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York New York ,  NY        

9. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA    

10. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Palo Alto, California Palo Alto, CA          

By the time most people find out that they have cancer, the tumors are established. The good news is that not all cancers kill. Simple nutrition facts can help you stay healthy, and work as a preventative measure against cancer. Oncologists are working hard to find early detection and diagnostic tools, effective treatment strategies and preventive measures that make a cancer diagnosis less intimidating.

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